Rolling blackouts could last a week: Oberholzer

Rolling blackouts could last a week: Oberholzer

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer says one of the reasons for the sudden implementation of rolling blackouts is due to the failure of a conveyor belt supplying Medupi with coal.

This led to low volumes of coal being supplied to the power station, limiting the generating capability to approximately half the station output.


Oberholzer says an investigation is underway to ascertain what led to the failure of the conveyor belt.


“As we speak, we have to fill the bunkers with the coal, so that has reduced the capacity down to a third of what the station can do,” says Oberholzer.

Head's up - find your load shedding schedules here

Eskom has announced it is implementing stage 2 load shedding on Wednesday due to a lack of capacity. The power utility has advised customers to check their load shedding schedules and if they are serviced by a municipal authority, to check their load shedding schedules with the particular municipality.

He adds from Saturday afternoon to Tuesday morning the power utility lost six generating units due to boiler tube leaks.


“Each one of these units has about 600 megawatts, so we lost another 3000 megawatts. Medupi is between a 1000 – 1500 megawatts, and we lost about 3000 megawatts.”


Oberholzer says while the power utility was losing megawatts, they decided to use emergency diesel and water reserves to keep the lights on.


However, the reserves were “dangerously low” and early on Wednesday morning Eskom decided to implement phase two loading shedding, which is expected to last for a week.


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