Eskom Predicts At Least 6 to 12 Months of Increased Loaddhedding
Eskom Predicts At Least 6 to 12 Months of Increased Loaddhedding. Koeberg pictured. Photo: Eskom

Stage 4 loadshedding is currently being implemented in South Africa until 05:00 on Monday morning, whereafter Eskom promises it will be reduced to Stage 3 until 05:00 on Tuesday morning. And from Tuesday morning, the situation brightens further with Stage 2 loadshedding to be implemented until further notice, although the power utility cautions that circumstances are likely to cause a significant increase in the occurrence of load-shedding over the next 6 -12 months.

The state-owned entity reiterated that due to the depletion of the budget to acquire diesel for the Open Cycle Gas Turbines, Eskom has been “forced to strictly conserve the remainder of the fuel reserves to protect against further unplanned outages.

“The imminent refuelling and maintenance outage, as well as the long-term operation project of Unit 1 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, together with the October chimney failure that has forced three generation units offline at Kusile Power Station, will further reduce available generation capacity and significantly increase the occurrence of loadshedding during the next 6 -12 months.”

Eskom said that today “loadshedding is being implemented due to a high number of breakdowns and the requirement to preserve the remaining emergency generation reserves while creating space to replenish the dam levels at the pumped storage schemes.”

A generating unit each at Grootvlei and Matimba power stations were taken offline for repairs over the past 24 hours. The delay in returning to service a generating unit each at Arnot and Duvha power stations has contributed to the capacity constraints.

A generating unit each at Kriel and Matla power stations were returned to service during this period.

“We currently have 6 392MW on planned maintenance, while another 16 318MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns,” Eskom said in a statement on Sunday.

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