Eskom is burning more diesel than planned to make up for the reduction in power capacity caused by power station breakdowns, according to a report in the Sunday Times .
The company began burning diesel in December 2017 and has spent R306 million on fuel for its turbines so far.
According to the report, breakdowns reached a critical 10,000MW threshold this past week, requiring the power utility to continue burning diesel heavily.
Eskom previously committed to always having 80% electricity available, with 10% set aside for unplanned and planned maintenance respectively.
The company has since revised this target and is currently operating with 78% capacity available, with plans to reach the 80% target by 2020.
“The fact that diesel is used over and above what is needed for rotation means that the breakdowns are unreasonably high at 10,000MW, which is 25% of Eskom’s capacity,” an anonymous source told the Sunday Times.
“This is a crisis by any standard.”
Eskom has been dogged with allegations of corruption and mismanagement, and its recent financial results reflect large projected losses over the short and medium term.
The National Treasury previously described Eskom’s financial problems as the single biggest risk to the South African economy.