Eskom suspending load-shedding — but more blackouts possible

Eskom will suspend load-shedding at 05:00 on Thursday morning but warned that significant risks to the system remained and load-shedding could again be implemented at short notice.

“As previously communicated, Eskom is pleased to announce that load-shedding will be suspended from 05:00 tomorrow morning,” the utility said.

Eskom said it used the past six days of load-shedding to conduct repairs to generating units and continue with its maintenance programme.

Even though it could replenish emergency generation reserves, it had to continue relying on these to support the power system over this period.

“While Eskom is currently able to suspend load-shedding, there are still significant risks to some generating units, which would force Eskom to implement load-shedding at short notice should we lose any further generation capacity.”

Eskom said its teams were” doing everything possible” to manage the risks.

“While Eskom teams have returned some generation units to service since Friday, helping to reduce the pressure on the system, we have unfortunately suffered further breakdowns during the period,” Eskom said.

“Although we have recovered some emergency generation reserve capacity to support the system, the recovery in generation capacity has not been sufficient to alleviate the system constraints,” it warned.

Eskom said breakdowns amounted to 14,868MW, while planned maintenance was at 5,277MW of capacity.

It also explained that the Hydro Cahora Bassa power plant started its planned annual maintenance outage on 9 October 2021, reducing available capacity by 650MW.

The facility is expected to be back at full capacity by Friday morning.

Eskom said it also expected some of its generation units to return to service during the night and over the next few days, which will help ease pressure on the system.

“Returning units are expected at Kriel, Majuba, Hendrina, Lethabo and Tutuka power stations,” it stated.

Eskom called on the public to continue using electricity sparingly to minimise the possibility of further load-shedding.

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Eskom suspending load-shedding — but more blackouts possible