SA 2010 goes mobile

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South Africa will use mobile generators to provide power for football stadia hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup while overburdened state utility Eskom will act as a backup.

South Africa will use mobile generators to provide power for football stadia hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup while overburdened state utility Eskom will act as a backup. South Africa's Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica assured a FIFA delegation in late November 2008 that the government would supply the 3. 4m litres of liquid fuel required to run the generators at the stadia. Eskom has struggled to meet rising electricity demand in Africa's biggest economy this year, owing to a lack of investment in new power generation capacity. The government has insisted that there will be no power blackouts during the world's biggest football event. Some R136m ($13. 50m) has been set aside for cities hosting the tournament to build substations to boost electricity supply, especially near the stadiums, the government's news service reported. Eskom estimates it will have to import some 700 megawatts of power for the World Cup's duration. The utility company will also establish local command centres which will regulate and supervise the electricity supply. It has found that some 170 megawatts were needed to host each game with an average of 53, 000 people attending. Eskom is looking at potential risk areas and will be running test scenarios, with the final one during the FIFA Confederations Cup held in 2009. Eskom has been rationing electricity since January 2008, when the national grid nearly collapsed, leading to a five–day shutdown of mines and raising questions about South Africa's ability to host the World Cup in two years' time. As a member of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), Eskom has also asked the 16 member countries for backup supply, and to reduce their electricity use during the event. It also has requested them to refrain from routine maintenance shutdowns.

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