Eskom announces week of black-outs

Eskom has announced that Stage 2 load-shedding will continue on Monday at 05:00 and extend to 05:00 on Saturday, 13 November.

The power utility made this announcement following the extensive use of emergency generating reserves and further unit breakdowns over the weekend, resulting in a shortage of almost 22,500MW.

“The events over the past two days have required extensive use of emergency generating reserves, hampering the recovery of the dam levels at the pumped storage power stations and depleting already low diesel levels,” Eskom said.

According to the statement, higher stages of load-shedding may be implemented as the power supply “remains volatile and unpredictable”.

“On Saturday 6 November there was a major incident in Zambia affected the entire Southern African Power Pool,” Eskom said.

“During this incident, the imported power from Cahora Bassa reduced by 1,000MW while a Tutuka generator also tripped.”

“Furthermore, a unit at Tutuka power station was forced to shut down while there were further delays in returning a unit each at Lethabo and Majuba power stations,” Eskom added.

Problems continued throughout the weekend, with units at Medupi and Matla power stations also tripping.

Contributing further to the power cuts, the excessive usage of open-cycle gas turbines has resulted in the limited availability of diesel to generate additional emergency power.

Eskom said it expects to receive bulk diesel supply later this month.

Stage 2 load-shedding was implemented on Friday, 5 November, and was quickly upgraded to Stage 4 due to a unit at Tutuka power station tripping and a conveyor belt at the Kendal Power Station not working due to a power failure.

Kendal Power Station

These issues have since been resolved.

“Eskom teams successfully returned two of the three generators at Kendal Power Station following the shut down on Friday due to coal constraints,” the power utility said.

“A unit each at Lethabo and Majuba power station was returned to service from boiler tube leak repairs.”

Eskom expects a further 12 generating units to be brought back online during the week, returning a combined capacity of 5,271MW.

“Eskom would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the implementation of load-shedding, and requests the public to reduce the usage of electricity in order to help us through the constraints,” the power utility said.

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Eskom announces week of black-outs