The agreement covers the next five years and is aimed at aligning and enhancing interaction between the organisations in support of national goals.
Eskom’s Group Chief Executive Brian Molefe said: “The partnership will further strengthen our collaborative relationship and‚ accordingly‚ provides a long term platform to perform scientific and operational research and evaluation tasks and provide scientific decision support towards the realisation of Eskom’s strategic and operational needs.”
“We will prioritise projects that will ensure our operational and financial sustainability as we refurbish our current plant and deliver on new infrastructural projects to provide much-needed electricity‚” added Molefe.
To address its short-term requirements‚ Eskom has identified three imperatives:
- Availability and reliability of the existing asset base. "The organisations will work together on extending the transmission component’s lifespan through predictive maintenance; real-time grid monitoring using the Advanced Fire Information System; laser-based refurbishment of high-value components; development of a joining technology and non-destructive testing centre to improve build and maintenance quality; analytical testing to ensure environmental compliance; and robotics and unmanned air vehicles for maintenance."
- Safely delivering on the new build programme and capacity management. Research and development will focus on the reduction of water consumption; development of advanced emission control technologies; development of components for use in advanced high-temperature gas reactors and modelling of associated technologies; load forecasting; and smart energy management systems.
- Financial sustainability. Aspects to be jointly investigated include security risk management solutions to prevent theft and safeguard high-value assets; cable and infrastructure theft detection and prevention; smart meter protection; and detection and prevention of illegal connections and revenue theft.
In the long term‚ the agreement includes an intention to collaborate strategically on flexibility requirements in the future power system; implications of higher penetration of renewable energy sources; establishing new build capabilities and capacity; integrated foresight studies and energy scenario planning; establishment of a joint centre of Advanced Manufacturing and Repair technologies; a National Centre of Expertise for non-destructive testing and evaluation; skills development and job creation.