Struggling South African state-owned utility firm, Eskom, is seeking for financial advisors to assist it to navigate the huge debt terrain and revamp its ageing coal power plants.
A frequent beneficiary of state bailouts, Eskom’s debt loan is estimated at more than R 454 Billion (US$27 Billion) and has been hard-pressed to meet its running costs.
Considered the world’s fourth-largest coal-burning power plants operator, Eskom has been struggling to meet the rising demand for electricity in South Africa.
South Africa has suffered from electricity insufficiency for more than a decade, with power blackouts have become increasingly frequent in recent years.
A severely crippled Eskom system has been even under more pressure lately with massive power blackouts dealing an economy, already reeling from the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic, a severe blow.
The firm is seeking for consultants to advise it on matters ranging from its break up into separate transmission, generation and distribution units to raising green finance.
Eskom, which produces almost all of its power from coal, is also seeking advice on mining and how to prioritize its budget allocation, according to documents accompanying a request for proposals that closes Aug. 20th, 2020.
“The objective is to form four different panels of financial advisers to provide services as and when needed,” the company said.
It implemented rolling national blackouts this month because of plant breakdowns.
Available figures indicate that the state-owned electricity utility performed 191 595 new household electrification connections in 2019. As at 31 March 2019, the firm had 6.2 Million direct customers, operating 30 power stations, including one nuclear, with a total power generating capacity of 44, 172MW.
Experts maintain that electricity monopoly, Eskom, should be split into two entities, the generation and distribution units. Eventually, this should lead to full privatization of the parastatal while opening up the power sector to independent power producers.