South African national power utility Eskom Holdings says it has secured an additional 373 MW of cogeneration from several independent power producers including Sasol, Sappi and IPSA Group over the past three years.

Another 260 MW has been added in short-term municipal deals with the Kelvin and Rooiwal power units.

Eskom has been trying to reassure its electricity customers that it has a fall-back plan to keep the lights on this winter.

The company has been developing a multi-pronged plan to avoid a repeat of the unexpected blackouts that forced mines and smelters to close for days in 2008 and resulted thereafter in load shedding or rolling blackouts to avert grid overload.

Since then, Eskom has added 1000 MW of generating capacity from gas turbines. The return to service of three decommissioned coal fired power stations has also created additional generating capacity of 4000 MW, most of it since 2008.

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