Bids sought for socioeconomic study into Eskom’s coal repowering and repurposing plan
A global coalition set up to support countries in implementing the carbon-reduction pledges contained in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) has announced that it will fund a study to assess the socioeconomic impacts of the shutdown, repowering and repurposing of seven Eskom coal-fired power stations.
Following a request for assistance from South Africa’s Department of Fisheries, Forestry and the Environment, the NDC Partnership has launched a request for proposal (RFP) for the study, which it says will offer “support for South Africa’s just energy transition”.
“In partnership with Eskom, the NDC Partnership through its host, the World Resources Institute, intends to award a contract to develop social plans for the seven selected coal power stations identified for shutdown in the coming years,” the global coalition said in a statement.
South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 contains an allocation for the decommissioning of 11 000 MW by 2030 and Eskom has established a Just Energy Transition Office that aims to pursue repowering and repurposing projects at the power station sites to help cushion workers, communities and businesses that will be negatively affected by the closures.
Despite being heavily indebted, the State-owned utility is also hoping to convince the National Treasury to support the raising of concessional climate finance to help it implement the transition, including by investing some R106-billion on new solar and wind projects mostly at the power station sites.
The NDC Partnership says bids in response to the RFP should be submitted by September 30 and the study, which is expected to cost $2.1-million, is expected to begin in October and be completed in 15 months, ending in December 2022.
“The selected vendor will lead a consortium of expert international and local consultant firms to conduct the study,” the NDC Partnership reports, adding that, in light of Covid restrictions, the consortium should include strong local expertise.