Seriti comment on Eskom coal provision
23 March 2023, Johannesburg: Seriti would welcome engaging with the Minister on coal quality matters, including Eskom’s appetite and/or ability to fund the necessary capital projects to upgrade coal quality through beneficiation.
New Denmark underground mine has been successfully supplying coal to Eskom’s Tutuka power station since 1982 on a “cost-plus” coal supply arrangement”.
The mine has delivered coal consistently meeting its contractual specification of delivering coal with energy of 23MJ/kg (+-5400 kcal) and ash of +-28% ash. The contractual agreement between New Denmark and Tutuka requires a minimum calorific value of 22.3MJ/kg and an ash value of less than 30%.
The last two years have seen a further improvement in coal qualities due to the cessation of the long wall mining, with underground mining now exclusively undertaken through bord and pillar continuous miner operations.
Coal is supplied from the underground mine across conveyor infrastructure into the Tutuka Stock yard for dispatch to the power station’s boilers. Coal is sampled through a sampling plant with daily analysis shared between the parties.
It is not possible to introduce external or extraneous material onto the conveyor belts prior to coal being delivered to the Tutuka coal stockyard. However, Tutuka’s coal receiving infrastructure, stock yard equipment (including stackers and reclaimers, belts, drives etc) do not operate efficiently and require re-capitalisation to operate optimally.
Eskom and New Denmark have agreed to commence studies to explore further improving coal qualities, which, if approved by Eskom, will require the construction and operation of beneficiation facilities to be funded by Eskom.
If adequately capitalised by Eskom, New Denmark mine has sufficient resources to supply coal to Tutuka up to 2050 and beyond.