South Africa’s Department of Public Enterprises has announced that the country’s first dedicated power transmission company could be unbundled from Eskom by the end of 2023, allowing IPPs to compete directly with Eskom . The entity will be called the National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA).
The splitting of Eskom into its three main operating divisions – generation, transmission, and distribution – aims to make the utility more manageable and liberalise the energy market, encouraging greater private sector participation.
It is expected NTCSA will buy 218 TWh annually, 77 per cent from Eskom, 19 per cent from IPPs, and 4 per cent imported. It will also export 5 per cent of the 212 TWh it expects to sell, the remainder being sold within South Africa.
Ellis Mnyandu, Spokesperson for the Department of Public Enterprises, said that NTCSA would function as a single-buyer purchasing power from Eskom generation and IPPs, and sell to Eskom distribution, municipalities, and large power users. He said: “The national transmission entity’s core functions will include balancing electricity supply and demand in real-time, dispatching the generators according to least-cost merit order principles, providing open access in a fair and equitable manner to the transmission market, and acting as an unbiased electricity market broker.”