Eskom warns of major electricity shortages

Eskom has issued a warning to the South African public, stating that its power generation system is severely constrained due to the loss of two more power units and a delay in returning five units to service.

“Eskom wishes to inform the public that the power system is severely constrained this afternoon as the return to service of five generation units have been delayed while a further two have either been shut down or tripped,” the power utility said.

“We urge the people of South Africa to reduce electricity consumption in order to help us power the country through the evening peak.”

Eskom said that the return of two power generation units at the Tutukua power station, as well as a single unit each at the Duvha, Matimba, and Jusile power stations, had been delayed.

This is in addition to another unit at Tutuka tripping this afternoon and the shutdown of Unit 1 at the Kusile power plant today.

“Eskom teams are hard at work to return these units to service,” it said.

The power utility said that these breakdowns have added to the approximately 5,500MW of capacity out on planned maintenance while unplanned maintenance has risen to almost 11,000MW.

“The constrained system may persist for the rest of the week,” Eskom said.

“Eskom requests your assistance in using electricity sparingly so we may be able to supply the country through the evening peak demand period,” it said.

Load-shedding warning

This follows after Eskom recently warned of a high possibility that load-shedding would return in the coming weeks due to maintenance on the power generation system.

“It is likely that we will have increased load-shedding going forward. There is always a risk of load-shedding in the system,” said Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter.

“If we do not take down the units and do the maintenance, the risk of significantly worse load-shedding is simply going to increase.”

He said the only option is to take down the units and implement load-shedding. “We simply don’t have alternatives,” he said.

De Ruyter’s warning comes after Eskom implemented seven days of load shedding in July, exceeding the company’s prediction of only three days of load-shedding this winter.

Now read: Eskom warns of more load-shedding in South Africa

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Eskom warns of major electricity shortages