Eskom updates load-shedding timetable — promises to not go over Stage 6

Eskom has announced that it will maintain stage 6 load-shedding until Friday morning at 05:00, reducing its rotational power cuts to stage 5 until Saturday.

The power utility has promised not to exceed stage 6 load-shedding despite plans to take Koeberg unit 1 offline tonight.

This will remove 930MW of capacity from the grid — nearly enough for a full stage of load-shedding.

“Since Tuesday night, breakdowns of two generating units at Groovlei Power Station occurred, as well as a unit each at Arnot, Duvha, Kendal, Kriel and Tutuka power stations,” it said.

“In addition, two units at Arnot, a unit each at Camden, Kendal and Kriel power stations have been delayed in returning to service.”

The state-owned power utility said a unit at Matla Power Station returned to service late last night.

“We currently have 4,984MW on planned maintenance, while another 19,052MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.”

Eskom reiterated that it had been forced to strictly preserve its remaining diesel stocks for extreme emergencies such as multiple, simultaneous trips of generators.

This is because it has already spent R11 billion on diesel during its current financial year — double its budget.

As a result, it can’t buy more diesel for its open-cycle gas turbine power stations, Ankerlig and Gourikwa.

Together, the two stations can generate 2,067MW of rapidly dispatchable electricity to help meet South Africa’s demand during peak periods, or prevent two stages of load-shedding.

In addition to conserving its emergency diesel supply, Eskom said it must also replenish its pumped storage dam levels during this load-shedding.

Eskom warned that two major projects would further reduce available generation capacity and exacerbate load-shedding over the next 6 –12 months. These are:

  1. The refuelling and maintenance outage of Koeberg unit 1, starting tonight, as well as its long-term operation project
  2. The October chimney failure at Kusile power station that forced three generation units offline

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

“Load-shedding is implemented only as a last resort in view of the shortage of generation capacity and the need to attend to breakdowns.”

Now read: Eskom stage 7 load-shedding knocking on South Africa’s door

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Eskom updates load-shedding timetable — promises to not go over Stage 6