Eskom power system under severe pressure

Eskom’s power system is under severe pressure, and it is currently running all the diesel generators and hydro storage facilities it can to avoid load-shedding.

This is feedback from Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshansha, who was discussing the issue with The Money Show.

Last night, Eskom warned that there was a high probability of load-shedding should it lose any further capacity.

It said the capacity shortage has been caused by the loss of multiple generation units and high load losses.

The losses are in addition to generation units that are already placed in planned maintenance, Eskom said.

At the time 7,532MW was out on planned maintenance, while another 10,853MW of capacity was out on unplanned maintenance.

Eskom said its teams were working around the clock to return as many of these units to service as soon as possible.

It urged the public to reduce electricity usage to help it to get through the evening peak as the power system is severely constrained.

Pressure on the system for the next few days

Mantshansha said while they scraped through on Thursday night without load-shedding, the grid will remain under pressure over the next few days.

“We currently have just under 11,000MW of power generation units which have broken down,” he said.

He added that nobody can explain why so many generation units break down at the same time.

“The reality is that we have these breakdowns, and that you will find a reason here, and a reason there,” Mantshansha said.

When these breakdowns are combined it forms a large part of the total generation capacity of the power producer.

He said they cannot give strict deadlines on when they expect the lost capacity to come back online.

“We are working hard to ensure we see the back of these constraints over the next few days and the system gets back to normal,” Mantshansha said.

Some good news is that electricity demand is expected to decline after 16 December when many industries close for the festive season.

Eskom employees will also work through the holiday season to perform maintenance while demand is low.

Sikonathi Mantshansha interview

Now read: Load-shedding warning for South Africa

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Eskom power system under severe pressure