Substantial obstacles, including multiple legal challenges, render SA’s coal IPPs unlikely to go ahead.

The draft Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (the IRP) is a significant improvement on the 2016 draft, and many were relieved to see a decision on future nuclear energy pushed out until 2030.

But others, including the Life After Coal Campaign (consisting of Earthlife Africa, the Centre for Environmental Rights, and groundWork) and Greenpeace Africa, have slammed the inclusion of 1,000MW of new coal-based electricity. This power is planned to come from two independent power producer (IPP) coal-fired power stations – Thabametsi (557MW), largely owned by Japan’s Marubeni and South Korea’s KEPCO, proposed near Lephalale; and Khanyisa (306MW), proposed near eMalahleni, with the Saudi-owned ACWA Power, its biggest shareholder.

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