6 power stations improve to 70% energy availability for first time since May 2022
6 power stations improve to 70% energy availability for first time since May 2022. Photo: iStockPhoto

Suddenly, things are looking a little brighter at Eskom!The power utility announced on Thursday evening that “there has been notable gradual improvements in Eskom’s power generation fleet. Over the past week, six coal-fired power stations achieved energy availability factor (EAF) of 70%, a milestone last achieved on 08 May 2022.”

Several of Eskom’s detractors had predicted that a positive statement was imminent as  the EFF’s Julius Malema calls for a National Shutdown on Monday 20 March to demand electricity (and the president’s resignation).

Eskom said in a statement that three of the improved power stations – Camden, Duvha and Matla – have been on a sustained upward trend as a result of a reduction of plant breakdowns and the return to service of a number of units that were on unplanned breakdowns.

“Lethabo, Matimba and Medupi have been experiencing continued good performance and remain among Eskom’s three best performing stations. In addition, Lethabo was able to sustain performance after a quick recovery following a wet coal incident experienced last week, due to flooding after excessive rainfall,” the state-owned entity declared.

Eskom’s Acting Group Chief Executive, Calib Cassim said:

“While this is still early progress, it shows a positive trajectory from actions taken to recover Eskom generation plants. This is consistent with Eskom’s target to achieve 70% EAF by 2025 financial year.”

Eskom Board Chairperson, Mpho Makwana, said: “The marked improvement in performance at Camden, Duvha and Matla as well as the sustained commendable performance at Lethabo, Matimba and Medupi gives assurance that if we continue to apply an all-hands-on-deck-approach we will continue to improve the energy availability.”

“I specifically commend the various teams at these power stations for the great work and also applaud all the Eskom employees for their continued hard work and dedication,” added Makwana.

The organisation said it continues to pursue the generation recovery programmes to recover operations and achieve sustained improvements in generation performance.