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22 August 2017 05:41 (South Africa)

Rio Tinto walks away from Coega smelter. Thanks, Eskom.

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

coega smelter

The most important draw card of the Coega industrial development zone outside Port Elizabeth, the aluminium smelter Rio Tinto was to build at a cost of more than $3 billion, has been cancelled. It had to happen. Rio Tinto can’t get the guaranteed power it needs; not at a decent price anyway. The government can’t afford to turn off the lights in homes and other factories while providing uninterrupted supply to anything that wasn’t grandfathered in. And Eskom can do with not having to worry about the voracious appetite of a new smelter in the middle of nowhere if you consider the geography of its generation assets. Does this leave Coega a white elephant? A deep-water port is valuable in and of itself, but without the smelter there’ll be one helluva lot less to ship in and out.

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

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