Plan to save Eskom with private power will take months

South Africa’s plans to procure more electricity-generation capacity will have to wait as long as six months until the regulator has approved a state resource strategy, the nation’s energy department said.

Africa’s most-industrialized economy has been hobbled by a shortage of electricity from debt-stricken state power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. A government blueprint published last year set out plans to increase power output over the next decade.

Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has submitted the so-called Integrated Resource Plan to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for its consideration.

As soon as the plan is processed by the regulator, procurement of new capacity can begin, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Deputy Director-General Jacob Mbele said at a conference in Cape Town on Tuesday.

“It could be anywhere between three to six months,” he said when asked to estimate the timeline. A spokesman for Nersa didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

South Africa’s Independent Power Producers office has started preparing a procurement process for when the IRP is processed, according to Maduna Ngobeni, a representative of the office.

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Plan to save Eskom with private power will take months