In terms of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act No. 39 of 2004), all of Eskom’s coal and liquid fuel-fired power stations are required to meet the Minimum Emission Standards (MES) contained in GNR 893 as amended by GNR 1207 (31 October 2018) which was promulgated in terms of Section 21 of the NEMAQA. These regulations provide arrangements in respect of interalia: a once off postponement with the compliance of minimum emissions for new plant for five years from the date of issue, no once off postponement will be valid beyond 31 March 2025; a once off suspension for plants being decommissioned by 31 March 2030; and that the National Air Quality Officer may grant an alternate emission limit or emission load if certain conditions are met. The application for any of these requests were initially to be submitted by 31 March 2019. The MES amendments in October 2018 have necessitated Eskom to submit these additional unplanned 5 applications in terms of the MES, in addition to the 11 applications that were already submitted in March 2019 this year (The previous MES applications that were submitted in March 2019 can be accessed via: http://www.naledzi.co.za/public-documents-naledzi.php)
The relatively late publication of these MES amendments, in conjunction with lengthy procurement processes, resulted in Eskom applying and receiving (in October 2019) a condonation from the Minister for the late submission of these applications with a requirement for submission by November 2019.
As such, applications in terms of the MES were submitted to the National Air Quality Officer on the 29 November 2019, in compliance with this requirement. The applications will be supplemented with supporting documentation (revised Atmospheric Impact Reports and further Public Consultation) which is anticipated will be provided by the end of May 2020 – as it was not practically possible to prepare these documents by March 2019.
The table below indicates a summary of Eskom’s 2019 MES Applications in terms of the GNR 1207 (31 October 2018).