Eskom lost another generating unit at the Kusile power station on Monday afternoon, forcing the state-owned utility to escalate load shedding to stage 4.
Although the unit at Kusile has since returned to service, it will take time to reach full generating capacity, Eskom said in a statement. As a result, stage-4 cuts – where 4GW of capacity is removed from the system – will be imposed from 5pm to 10pm.
Eskom currently has 1.9GW on planned maintenance, while 17.3GW is unavailable due to breakdowns.
Earlier on Monday, Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer, speaking at a media briefing, warned that the current bout of load shedding could get worse if there were any further plant breakdowns.
The state-owned electricity utility is struggling with unplanned breakdowns in its ageing coal-fired generating fleet. Ongoing maintenance at the Koeberg nuclear power station, usually a reliable source of electricity, is also contributing to the situation where demand exceeds supply during the evenings.
“Because of the unreliability and unpredictability of our system, should something drastic happen we may be forced to increase the stage of load shedding to stage 4,” Oberholzer said. — (c) 2022 NewsCentral Media