Power utility Eskom applied for certain exemptions from minimum air quality standards for its Matimba and Medupi power stations, but was reportedly denied.
Earlier this year, a study revealed that Eskom was the world’s biggest emitter of sulphur dioxide, a pollutant linked to ailments that range from asthma to heart attacks.
According to Business Insider, Eskom said that the necessary flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) will not be in place until 2030, and even surpassing that time, Medupi will never be economically capable of complying with its sulphur dioxide limits.
In a letter refusing the application, National Air Quality Officer Thuli Khumalo said the Minimum Emission Standards were first published in 2010 and Eskom “made minimal effort to fully comply with the standards”.
In response to this, Eskom said that it believes that decision has “a very significant impact on [its] ability to provide electricity nationally, the economy, and the country’s plans in terms of a just energy transition.”
The power utility, who is due to release its interim financial results on Wednesday, hopes to approach the departments in charge of energy, including state-owned enterprises to find a way of moving forward.