Jan Oberholzer, former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Eskom, has transitioned from coal to renewables, taking up a new role at South African renewables producer Mulilo Energy Holdings.
- Oberholzer has been appointed as a non-executive director and chairman of Mulilo’s board. Mulilo Energy Holdings, majority-owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, has secured contracts to develop 910MW of generating capacity.
- Mulilo Energy Holdings aims to expand its portfolio by constructing and operating at least 5GW of wind, solar, and battery projects by 2028.
- Oberholzer’s tenure at Eskom involved efforts to address the utility’s declining performance. In his new position at Mulilo, he aims to contribute to South Africa’s electricity supply stabilization by supporting the development of additional generation capacity.
- Oberholzer retired as Eskom COO in April, but continued in a consulting role until recently. He mutually agreed to end the consulting contract to pursue a more impactful role outside of Eskom.
- The shift towards clean energy aligns with global trends, according to Oberholzer, who believes it is the right direction for Eskom. However, he also recognizes the need to consider the cost and environmental implications when deciding on the lifespan of coal-fired plants.
- With the anticipated expansion of Eskom’s grid to accommodate increased generation capacity, Oberholzer suggests exploring private participation as a potential solution due to the scale of work required.