‘Uncontrolled’ load shedding costing steel group R1.5m/hr

16 February 2015

Former Eskom FD and the current head of Africa’s largest steel group, Paul O’Flaherty, has described the latest round of load shedding as “uncontrolled” and reports that,

when interrupted, the JSE-listed company is losing the equivalent of R1.5-million an hour.

Speaking after ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) reported its fifth consecutive yearly loss of R158-million, he said the group’s facilities were being asked to reduce their power consumption “almost daily” and it had become a “serious challenge”.

AMSA Chief operating officer Dr Hans Ludwig Rosenstock reported that, under the current scenario, it was being given 30-minutes warning to reduce its load by between 10% and 30%, with limited predictability of when the call would be received.

“What’s troubling us is the production loss,” Rosenstock explained, adding that greater forewarning, especially at Vanderbijlpark and Newcastle, was needed to ensure less disruption to output.

In 2014, AMSA purchased 3.52 TWh of electricity, making it one of the country’s top ten consumers. “So it’s a serious issue for us; it’s a serious issued for the country,” O’Flaherty concluded.


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