Eskom concerned about rising fuel prices amidst Russia-Ukraine conflict, says Calib Cassim

The CFO stated that Eskom may not be able to afford diesel anymore if prices continue to rise.

The current Russia-Ukraine conflict has resulted in rising fuel prices in South Africa, and Eskom CFO Calib Cassim has expressed concern as prices are expected to increase even more since the US stopped Russia’s oil imports.

While Eskom is monitoring fuel costs closely, Calib has stated that the already struggling power utility can’t continuously rely on diesel due to financial constraints. “We don’t have a blank cheque to continuously depend on diesel based on what we receive from the regulators, and the government equity that we have. And at the end of the day, we have commitments to make.”

He added that, if diesel doubles in price, they should look at generation performance. He explained that Eskom will inevitably reach a point where funds run out and diesel can’t be purchased anymore.

Eskom briefed the country on the national power grid’s state on Tuesday, 8 March, amid a number of unit breakdowns and increasing loadshedding rollouts across the country. And while diesel may not be a long-term option, Calib said that the utility has other avenues.