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Eskom is evaluating at least three requests for proposals (RFPs) for coal supply, including one for 100-million tonnes (Mt) and has other options, so it anticipates no difficulty in sourcing coal in future, Eskom’s senior GM of primary energy Ayanda Nteta said on Wednesday. She was responding to questions at the Fossil Fuel Foundation’s workshop on coal infrastructure and logistics about a looming "coal cliff" after 2020. For several years, coal analysts have warned that lack of investment in large, new mines would jeopardise Eskom’s ability to continue operating coal-fired power stations, which are 90% of its fleet. Xavier Prévost, senior analyst at XMP Consulting, said SA’s coal mine output fell 2% in September compared with a year ago. "The coal cliff predicted for 2020 is happening," he said, but if Eskom was willing to invest in cost-plus mines — the large mines that produce more than 80% of Eskom’s coal — it would help address the shortage. Nteta said Eskom was investing in it...

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