How many Toyota Fortuners you could refuel with the diesel Eskom used in one month

You could fill up more than 750,000 Toyota Fortuner SUVs with the amount of diesel Eskom used for emergency power generation in November 2021.

Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer recently revealed the utility used R1-billion’s worth of diesel to power its open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) plant in November 2021 during an online webinar hosted by EE Business Intelligence.

That was a massive increase from the R340 million it spent the month before.

The Ankerlig and Gourikwa OCGTs had to compensate for the weak performance of Eskom’s coal-fired power stations, which suffered numerous trips and breakdowns during the month.

The issues were so severe, it necessitated stage 4 load-shedding at one point.

Using diesel to power these OCGTs has been one of Eskom’s biggest unexpected cost items and a major contributor to its annual tariff adjustments.

With the energy availability factor of its coal power stations at dismal levels this year, the utility has had to rely heavily on OCGTs, particularly during peak usage periods in the evenings.

As a result, Eskom is expected to go well over this year’s diesel expenditure budget of R4.1 billion.

Open-cycle gas turbines at Ankerlig Power Station in Atlantis, Cape Town

For R1 billion, Eskom would have been able to buy around 60.28 million litres of 500ppm diesel at November’s wholesale price of R16.59 on the coast.

To put things into perspective, we calculated how many cars in South Africa you could refuel using this amount of diesel.

Given that most Toyota Fortuner models carry an 80-litre tank as standard, the amount of diesel Eskom used last month would be able to fill up about 753,466 of them.

The same figure would apply for many Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux double-cab models, which also come with 80-litre tanks.

A smaller 40-litre tank like that which you will find in Ford Figo TDCi models could be refuelled more than 1.5 million times.

The table below summarises how many vehicles with typical tank sizes you could refuel with the diesel Eskom consumed in November 2021.

Eskom’s diesel usage measured in vehicle tank sizes
Tank size Vehicle models  Number of refuels
40 litres Ford Figo TDCi 1,506,932
45 litres Volkswagen Polo TDI 1,339,495
50 litres Nissan NP200 dCi 1,205,546
58 litres Volkswagen Tiguan TDI 1,039,263
80 litres Toyota Fortuner GD 753,466

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How many Toyota Fortuners you could refuel with the diesel Eskom used in one month