Durban – It looks like Stage 6 load shedding is set to stay a few days longer.
Eskom confirmed on Wednesday that Stage 6 will continue until 5am on Friday before being reduced to Stage 5 until Saturday morning.
“Since Tuesday night, breakdowns of two generating units at Grootvlei power station occurred, as well as a unit each at Arnot, Duvha, Kendal, Kriel and Tutuka power stations. In addition, two units at Arnot, a unit each at Camden, Kendal and Kriel power stations have been delayed in returning to service. A unit at Matla power station returned to service late on Tuesday night,” said Eskom spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha.
He added that Eskom currently has 4 984MW on planned maintenance, while another 19 052MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.
Due to the depletion of the budget to acquire diesel for the Open Cycle Gas Turbines, Eskom has been forced to strictly preserve the remaining diesel for any extreme emergency situations such as multiple, simultaneous trips of generators.
Mantshantsha said the pumped storage dam levels also need to be replenished during this load shedding.
He said the refuelling and maintenance outage starting tonight, as well as the long-term operation project of Unit 1 of the Koeberg Nuclear power station, together with the October chimney failure that has forced three generation units off-line at Kusile power station, will further reduce available generation capacity and exacerbate the occurrence of load shedding over the next six to 12 months.
Meanwhile, the DA has raised questions around the implementation of government’s multi-pronged plan to tackle load shedding.
In July, President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed a plan to liberate the nation from load shedding.
Some of the actionable steps Ramaphosa announced are:
- Fix Eskom and improve the performance of our existing fleet of power stations
- Accelerate the procurement of new capacity from renewables, gas and battery storage
- Accelerate greater private investment in generation capacity
- Enable businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar
- Transform the electricity sector and position it for future sustainability.
“It was all hot air,” said energy expert, Ted Blom.
Loadshedding 2022 Wrapped! 😅 pic.twitter.com/jqIdiG5hxr
— EskomSePush (ESP) (@EskomSePush) December 7, 2022