Load shedding extended by a week as Eskom plants fall over

Load shedding will continue until well into next week, electricity utility Eskom said on Friday evening.

The state-protected electricity monopoly said stage-2 load shedding will continue all weekend, after initially suggesting it could be concluded by 5am on Saturday.

The power cuts are needed, Eskom said, to continue replenishing emergency generation services, which it has been running during the day to keep the lights on. This is mainly done by burning diesel.

“This load shedding is also necessary to address additional risks in the generation fleet,” Eskom said. “While still recovering four units at Tutuka, which had experienced conveyor belt failures, the fleet suffered a cluster of boiler tube leaks within a short period of time.

“Emergency reserves have been further depleted today (Friday) due to breakdowns of a generating unit each at Kusile, Komati and Hendrina power stations. The return of a generating unit at Majuba today provided some relief. However, this was insufficient to curb the extensive use of emergency reserves.”

Total unplanned breakdowns amount to 14.8GW, while planned maintenance is at 5.3GW of capacity, Eskom said.  – © 2021 NewsCentral Media

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