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Coal strikes threaten South Africa power supply
in-en.com  2013-3-14 8:55:21  

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IOL reported that the wildcat strike at Exxaro Resources was continuing at 5 operations the coal producer confirmed. 5 out of 8 coal operations at the diversified mining company ground to a halt as workers demanded the payment of performance bonuses.

Employees were not paid the bonuses because the mines did not achieve performance goals. About 3 500 out of 8 000 Exxaro employees had downed tools in a strike that started at the Arnot and Matla collieries in Mpumalanga last week. The strike then spread to the Grootegeluk mine in Limpopo and the Inyanda and Leeuwpan mines in Mpumalanga.

The strikes would place pressure on the national electricity grid ahead of peak demand in winter as coal production came to a standstill analysts warned.

Exxaro said that it had sufficient stockpiles to supply Eskom.

Mr Elton Bosch, the general manager at NUS Consulting Group said that “The strike is going to have a knock on effect. When there is peak demand and the coal supply for power stations has not been restocked we can expect blackouts.”

The Exxaro strike was adding strain to Eskom’s already tight power supply as Unit 1 at its Koeberg nuclear power station was experiencing problems.

Eskom said previously that while the strike had affected coal deliveries the power stations had fuel stockpiles.

Typically Eskom kept at least 40 days of stockpiles Mr Anton Eberhard, an electricity analyst at the UCT Graduate Business School said that “The strike would have to continue for at least a month and a half before Eskom’s stockpiles were depleted.”

He added that “The company was also importing less power from Mozambique due to floods in that country.”

Author:in-en.com  From:www.iol.com  Edit:Susan
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