Eskom denies secretly launching stage 6 load-shedding

Eskom has hit back at allegations that it quietly implemented Stage 6 load-shedding on Wednesday, 2 June 2021.

This is after energy analyst Ted Blom said that the power utility faced a generating shortfall of 5,136 megawatt (MW), which he said would have required Stage 6 load-shedding for Eskom to handle.

However, in a load-shedding update posted to Twitter, Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said that Eskom load-shed 2,267MW during the evening peak on 2 June — much less than Blom’s information would suggest.

Questioned about Blom’s claims, Eskom disputed the accuracy of his information, saying that the peak shortfall on Wednesday was 3,962MW.

Eskom explained that it has an installed capacity of 3,414MW through its open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) generating units, but due to low diesel levels only 14 were used.

“With Stage 2 loadshedding as well as the demand response products bought from customers, there was sufficient capacity to supply the peak demand and meet the reserve requirements [of 33,322MW],” Eskom told MyBroadband.

The power utility said it did not instruct any load curtailment on 2 June.

Addressing confusion about the stage of load-shedding announced (Stage 2) compared to the amount of power load-shed (2,267MW), Eskom said each block of load-shedding is not always exactly 1,000MW.

Therefore, it is not always the case that when slightly more than 2,000MW needs to be load-shed that Stage 3 load-shedding must be implemented.

“Each block of load-shedding is approximately 1,000MW, but this varies depending on the customer demand at the time, which in turn depends on the time of day, season, weekday or weekend, etc.,” stated Eskom, referring to the NRS048–9 version 2 standard.

Double load-shedding in Ekurhuleni

Another point Blom raised was that there were many people who complained about being load-shed outside the hours their schedules seemed to indicate.

Blom said he conducted an informal poll on his social media pages and he was flooded by reports from people who complained about extended power outages on 2 June.

“It’s clear that there was far more then level 2 load-shedding going on,” Blom told MyBroadband.

However, Eskom said that when it challenged Blom on the poll, he admitted he received only around 50 respondents.

“An expert really has to be a little more responsible than that,” Eskom stated.

Regarding Blom’s statement of Sandton’s extended load-shedding, Eskom said that this is exactly the day City Power released a statement to its customers about its problems with supplying the area due to technical issues.

“In the same week the Ekurhuleni Municipality admitted it had been having problems implementing its loadshedding obligations in the east of Gauteng,” Eskom stated.

As a result of Ekurhuleni’s failure to properly implement load-shedding, Eskom stepped in to handle the load-shedding on its behalf.

This resulted in some customers being double load-shed.

“There were many reports of Ekurhuleni municipality and Eskom implementing load-shedding at the same time in the Ekurhuleni supply area as the new agreements were implemented,” Eskom told MyBroadband.

“This did result in double load-shedding in the Ekurhuleni area of supply for some hours last week. These details will need to be obtained from the municipality.”

Now read: Load-shedding for Monday night, with more bad news for the week ahead

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Eskom denies secretly launching stage 6 load-shedding