Eskom cuts power to BHP smelter to save energy

Mail and Guardian 26 June 2013.

An agreement between state-run Eskom and BHP allows the utility to interrupt power to the latter’s energy-intensive smelters if the national grid approaches a tipping point.

“We did interrupt supply to one of the BHP Billiton units for a time, but still have emergency reserves available,” Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe said on Tuesday. She also said Eskom ran gas turbines that it activates when supply is tight.

Eskom said on Monday the power reserve margin for the evening was expected to be extremely tight at 29 megawatts (MW), or just 0.08% of available power…

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