Eskom will implement stage-2 – or higher – load shedding until at least next Saturday as the state-owned utility continues to struggle with plant breakdowns.
The company said on Sunday afternoon that load shedding will continue until 5am on Saturday — at the earliest. It warned, too, that the level of load shedding – currently anticipated at stage 2 – could be escalated to a higher stage at any time.
“Regretfully, due to the ongoing insufficient generation capacity and the inability to replenish emergency reserves over this weekend, stage-2 load shedding will continue throughout the week, from 5am on Monday, 8 November, until 5am on Saturday, 13 November,” it said.
“Despite the implementation of stage-2 load shedding, events over the past two days have required extensive use of emergency generating reserves, hampering the recovery of the dam levels at the pumped storage power stations and depleting already low diesel levels,” Eskom said.
“Since the power system remains volatile and unpredictable, higher stages of load shedding may be required.”
Adding to Eskom’s woes was a “major incident” in Zambia at the weekend that affected the entire Southern African power pool. During this incident, imported power from the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme was reduced by 1GW. A unit at the Tutuka power stations also tripped, while another was forced to shut down. There were delays in returning units at Lethabo and Majuba to service.
Today, Sunday, a unit each at Medupi and Matla also tripped.
As a result of these problems, Eskom has been making extensive use of its diesel generators. Diesel stock is now running low, with replenishment expected only in mid-November.
Eskom said total breakdowns amount to 16.7GW, while planned maintenance is 5.8GW of capacity.
A total of 12 generating units with a combined capacity of 5.3GW are expected to return to service during the week. – © 2021 NewsCentral Media