South Africans are in for more hours in the dark as Eskom has announced that stage 2 of load shedding will continue from Monday morning at 05:00 until Saturday at 05:00. The utility has attributed the new bout of load shedding to ongoing insufficient generation capacity and the inability to replenish emergency reserves over this past weekend.
“Despite the implementation of Stage 2 loadshedding, the 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,” said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.
ESKOM: STAGE 2 LOAD SHEDDING COULD BE ESCALATED
In addition, Eskom has also warned that its system remains volatile and unpredictable, which means it may be forced to escalate load shedding from stage 2 at some point.
“On Saturday 6 November there was a major incident in Zambia affected the entire Southern African Power Pool. During this incident the imported power from Cahora Bassa reduced by 1 000MW while a Tutuka generator also tripped. Furthermore, a unit at Tutuka power station was forced to shut down while there were further delays in returning a unit each at Lethabo and Majuba power stations,” Mantshantsha said.
The embattled power utility says two units at its Matla and Medupi power stations tripped. The high usage of OCGTs (open-cycle gas turbine) over the past two weeks had resulted in limited diesel stock being available and bulk diesel supply for the OCGT power stations is only expected in mid-November.
Total breakdowns currently amount to 16 693MW while planned maintenance is 5 769MW of capacity. Eskom teams successfully returned two of the three generators at Kendal Power Station following the shut down on Friday due to coal constraints. A unit each at Lethabo and Majuba power station was returned to service from boiler tube leak repairs. A total of 12 generating units with a combined capacity of 5 271MW are expected to return to service during the week.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.
The utility has reminded customers that load shedding is implemented as a last resort to maintain the stability of the power system.
“Eskom would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the implementation of loadshedding, and requests the public to reduce the usage of electricity in order to help us through the constraints,” Mantshantsha added.