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Eskom world's top polluting power firm: 'People dying from Mpumalanga SO2 fumes'

6 October 2021 10:52 AM
Tags:
Eskom
Medupi
Air pollution
Earthlife Africa
coal-fired power plants
Eskom emissions
S02 emissions
power company

Early Breakfast host Africa Melane chats to Earthlife Africa director Makoma Lekalakala about Eskom's emissions.
  • Eskom is now considered to be the world's worst polluting power company
  • This is according to a data analysis by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air
  • Enviro group Earthlife Africa says Eskom has made very little effort to reduce emissions
  • Earthlife Africa director Makoma Lekalakala says people are dying in Mpumalanga because of Medupi's killer fumes

Eskom's Medupi power station. Picture: Eskom.co.za

Eskom has become the world’s top polluting power company, according to new data analysis.

The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) has found that no other power company on earth emits nearly as much sulphur dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere.

Eskom also emits more SO2 than the entire power sector of the EU and US, or the US and China, combined.

A study by air pollution expert Mike Holland reports that there are approximately 2,200 pollution-related deaths in South Africa every year due to SO2 emissions.

Environmental justice group Earthlife Africa says the power utility has not done enough to reduce its poisonous emissions.

Earthlife Africa director Makoma Lekalakala says Eskom continues to delay the installation of pollution abatement technology at the mega-power station Medupi.

He says Eskom has failed to install flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) technology, commonly known as air scrubbers, which scrub the poisonous fumes at power stations where SO2 is emitted.

According to Lekalakala, people are sick and dying due to air pollution in Mpumalanga where there is a high concentration of Eskom's coal-fired power statons.

Emalahleni in Mpumalanga has been named the city with most poisonous air in the world by the National Council for Geosciences.

Lekalakala says the South African government has allowed Eskom to flout minimum emission standards, despite making international pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It's not surprising at all. this is something that NGOs and ordinary people have been on Eskom's case about.

Makoma Lekalakala, Director - Earthlife Africa

Eskom has known for a long time that it has got to install pollution-abating technology on its coal-fired power stations and de-commission those that are old but it doesn't seem like that's what Eskom is prioritising.

Makoma Lekalakala, Director - Earthlife Africa

We know that one of the most polluting stations is the new Medupi... The installation of flue gas desulphurisation on the boilers at Medupi has been postponed indefinitely. This has got a very negative impact on lives.

Makoma Lekalakala, Director - Earthlife Africa



6 October 2021 10:52 AM
Tags:
Eskom
Medupi
Air pollution
Earthlife Africa
coal-fired power plants
Eskom emissions
S02 emissions
power company

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