Eskom increases power cuts as six generating units break down

Eskom has announced that it will implement continuous stage 2 load-shedding from 16:00 on Friday until further notice.

This is owing to the breakdown of six generating units at five power stations, the need to conserve emergency generation reserves, and the delay in returning several generators to service.

Eskom had been running a peak-time and early-morning load-shedding timetable since Monday, beginning stage 2 power cuts at 16:00 and continuing until 05:00 the following morning.

This has now been changed to all-day load-shedding.

“A generating unit each at Duvha, Grootvlei, Hendrina, Majuba, and two units at Arnot power station were taken offline for repairs over the past 24 hours,” the state-owned power utility said.

“The delay in returning to service two generating units at Camden and one unit each at Arnot and Duvha power stations contributed to the capacity constraints.”

Eskom said it returned a generating unit each at Kriel and Matla power stations to service during this period.

It said 4,423MW was unavailable due to planned maintenance, while another 16,708MW of capacity was offline due to breakdowns.

“Eskom requests the public to exercise patience and tolerance during this difficult period,” the power utility said.

The power utility did not give an update on its emergency generation reserves.

These consist of diesel for its open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) power plants at Ankerlig and Gourikwa, and pumped storage schemes like Ingula, Drakensberg, and Palmiet.

Almost two weeks ago, Eskom claimed it had run out of money for diesel and would not be ordering more until April 2023.

Eskom disclosed that it had already spent R11 billion on diesel during this financial year — double its budget.

Government scrambled to secure diesel supplies for the ailing power utility, with public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan informing Parliament that they had acquired 50 million litres of diesel from PetroSA.

Gordhan did not reveal how much the diesel being sent to Eskom costs, or who was paying.

However, the 50 million litres is reportedly not enough for a full month of emergency reserves for Eskom.

PetroSA alone provides Eskom with 60 million litres of diesel per month, and it is not the only supplier.

Update: Finance minister Enoch Godongwana has revealed that Eskom negotiated a deal with state oil company PetroSA for diesel, which should cover its requirements through the financial year ending March 2023.

However, Eskom said it is using the fuel sparingly.


Now read: Ramaphosa’s load-shedding lies

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Eskom increases power cuts as six generating units break down