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Strike: Eskom has 38-day stockpiles of coal at plants
27 Jul 2011

JOHANNESBURG — Eskom is able to function during the coal sector strike because it has 38-day stockpiles at power stations around the country, a spokesperson said on Monday.

“If the strike only lasts a week or so it is unlikely to affect us, but if it is protracted it could put a strain on our contingency plans,” said Tony Stott.

“What we are concerned about is that once the strike is over, we need them [coal workers] to produce additional coal to the normal demand to restore those stockpiles again because we do not want to go into the rainy season with low stockpiles.”

Some power stations may not function at full capacity if stocks are low and the coal becomes wet in the rain.

The National Union of Mineworkers said the first day of the coal sector strike was successful.

Chamber of Mines spokesperson Frans Barker was not immediately available for comment.

The chamber, which is negotiating on behalf of companies including Anglo Thermal Coal SA, Delmas Coal, Exxaro, Kangra Coal, Optimum Coal and Xstrata Coal, last week offered a revised 8,5% wage increase for entry-level employees and seven percent for other employees.

“The situation remains unchanged for the moment but we are hoping there will be movement at some stage,” chamber spokesperson Jabu Maphalala said. — Sapa.

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