Xstrata-Merafe JV shuts furnaces as it joins Eskom buy-back

Engineering News 12 December 2012.

JOHANNESBURG ( – The Xstrata-Merafe chrome venture would close five of its twenty furnaces at certain plants for three months next year to participate in State utility Eskom’s electricity buy-back programme.

JSE-listed Merafe reported on Wednesday that it estimated a loss in ferrochrome production of 100 000 t during the January 1 to March 31 shutdown, but assured that no jobs would be lost as a result of the closures.

Eskom said last month that it was finalising various demand- and supply-side agreements, including a new round of power buy-backs, to enable it to catch up with its maintenance programme, which was affected by lower supplies from Cahora Bassa, in Mozambique, between August and November.

The utility was seeking an additional 600 MW to 1 000 MW of demand- and supply-side options over the coming six months…

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