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Electricity doubts may put Coega Aluminium Smelter development on hold

by Selwyn Bergman
on 14 Feb 2008
Oceanography SA
Oceanography SA

Doubts from mining giant, Rio Tinto Alcan about the supply of electricity to the proposed R21-billion smelter at the Port of Coega, threaten to delay or even put a stop to the project.

Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto CE, stated that the group would not give the go-ahead for the smelter until new power plants had been built. He stated that the group would not just want "conceptual" theoretical assurance about power generation assets - they wanted to see it being built before they would commit to the construction.

Eskom has undertaken load-shedding in order to maintain electricity supplies to the country. Electricity supply to large industrial users have been reduced to less than their actual requirement as a result.

Despite the electricity supply problems, State Officials have given assurances that the project at Coega would continue.

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