Cape Town – Power utility Eskom announced it had implemented Stage 4 load shedding just before 6am on Friday.
According to Eskom’s spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha further breakdowns were the cause of this increase in load shedding stage.
“Breakdowns amounting to 17 056MW of generation capacity, low pumped storage dam levels, and lack of diesel are the reasons for the increase in load shedding,” he said.
A full update will be given at a later stage.
Earlier this week, South Africans were told to brace themselves for ongoing blackouts for six to 12 months.
Eskom said this was due to significant capital projects and repairs that will remove more than 2 300MW of generating capacity from the system.
The country has experienced 158 days of load shedding since January.
To limit the stages of load shedding, Eskom said the utility had to heavily rely on the extensive use of open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs), burning millions of litres of diesel.
“Due to the vulnerability and unpredictability of the power system, coupled with the major capital projects, maintenance and major repairs to be executed starting during the next few months, the risk of continued load shedding remains quite high,” Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said.
On December 8, Unit 1 of the Koeberg nuclear power station, which has provided 384 days of uninterrupted supply to date, will be shut down for regular maintenance and refueling, and the replacement of the three steam generators (SGR) as part of the long- term operation to extend the operating life of Africa’s only nuclear power station.