No loadshedding for winter: Eskom

No loadshedding for winter: Eskom

Eskom CEO Brian Molefe put his head on a block by proclaiming on Thursday that there would be no loadshedding this winter as the power utility reaches new milestones in generation capacity.

Eskom to implement power cut to owing municipalities_gallo
File photo: Gallo images

Speaking to journalists in Parliament as part of the utility’s quarterly state of the system briefing, Molefe said: “Eskom’s prognosis for 2016/17 is that there will be no loadshedding…in winter…and in summer as well.

“The energy availability has increased from 70 percent in October 2015 to 76 percent in April 2016.”

Molefe said the increase in energy availability had added an additional 2,500 megawatts (MW) to the electricity grid.

The utility had set itself a target of reaching 80 percent power availability – a milestone it said it achieved this week.

Maintenance would continue in winter, but would be scaled down somewhat as demand increased.

The increase in power availability has resulted in massive savings for Eskom in that it is having to spend less on diesel to power open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs). Eskom has reduced its spend on diesel from R854 million to R25 million by April this year.

But Molefe said if necessary the utility would make use of OCGTs when demand increases.

“We will continue to use diesel if we have to even if we don’t recover it from the regulator.”

South Africans have enjoyed uninterrupted power supply for the past nine months after regular loadshedding resulting from unplanned breakdowns of its power plants. - ANA

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