Eskom hopes load shedding won’t continue into long weekend

Eskom hopes load shedding won’t continue into long weekend

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter hopes more generating units will be back online before the start of the long weekend. 

Andre de Ruter loadshedding briefing Feb 2022

De Ruyter briefed the media on Tuesday on the current system challenges amid rolling blackouts.

The struggling power utility returned load shedding on Monday after Unit 5 of Medupi Power Station tripped, removing some 700MW of capacity from the grid.

The unit has since returned to service overnight but three generating units at the Camden Power Station tripped during the night.

This has resulted in Eskom’s plan to implement stage 2 load shedding on Tuesday afternoon – a situation which will in all likelihood persist throughout the week.

De Ruyter said while the heavy rain in parts of the country has contributed to its challenges, it has not affected its coal supply.

“There is enough coal, we don’t have coal supply issues, our coal stockpile are healthy – so we don’t have major issues as far as the availability of coal is concerned.

“The heavy rain up to now has not had an undue impact on our coal supply situation due to the good work that has been done at the power stations to improve our rain readiness. In 2019 we had very heavy rain and coal stockpiles were not adequately prepared and that was a major contributor to the implementation of load shedding stage 6. We have learned from that very dire lesson to improve the readiness of our coal supply,” he said.

Meanwhile, Eskom’s national control manager Gav Hurford warned the load shedding would continue though the winter.

“We do scenario planning because of uncertainties, and the range we looked at for this winter is between 12000MW and 15000MW of unplanned unavailability and based on those scenarios, we would be at about 100 days of load shedding for winter.

“That 100 days would be extreme, we don’t stay at that extreme, we expect it to vary. There will be some load-shedding, we will see some load- shedding in the evening peaks and this is based on uncertainties that we see in the fleet historically.”


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