Surprise load-shedding change after Eskom power station breakdowns

Eskom has announced it has brought forward Stage 2 load-shedding for Monday evening by three hours.

Instead of 21:00, load-shedding will now start at 18:00, the utility said.

This was due to two generating units at its coal-fired power stations tripping during the day.

“Unit 1 of Kusile and Matimba Unit 5 tripped, taking 1,300MW of the grid,” Eskom said.

It added that after Monday night, load-shedding would continue as previously communicated.

That means load-shedding should continue until 05:00 on Tuesday morning and resume from 21:00 until 05:00 on Wednesday morning.

Eskom briefed the public on its operational performance today, revealing a bleak outlook for load-shedding this summer.

During its State of the System update, the utility said its fleet’s energy availability factor (EAF) had declined to 65% against its target of 70% EAF for the year-to-date.

It has also experienced an increase in unplanned outages, partial load losses, and unplanned trips.

The utility’s forecast showed South Africans should prepare for more than 94 days of rotational power cuts and expect load-shedding to hit at least Stage 3 before the end of March 2022.

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer emphasised the utility urgently needed an additional 4,000MW to 6,000MW generation capacity to eliminate the risk of load-shedding.

Now read: Eskom’s big load-shedding lie

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Surprise load-shedding change after Eskom power station breakdowns