Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

Eskom moves to Stage 1 load shedding on Sunday

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Dec 12, 2020

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Cape Town - Eskom will move from Stage 2 load shedding to Stage 1 on Sunday between 6am and 11pm, the state-owned power utility said.

In a statement on Saturday, Eskom said that the emergency generation reserves recovery had showed significant progress so loadshedding would be reduced.

“It is necessary to continue with load shedding in order to fully recover the emergency generation reserves in preparation for the coming week. Eskom will communicate timeously should there be any significant changes to the power system,” it said

“We currently have 7,914MW on planned maintenance, while another 10,468MW of capacity is unavailable due to unplanned maintenance. Eskom teams are working around the clock to return as many of these units to service as soon as possible.”

Eskom apologised for the “inconvenience during this difficult period” and requested South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly to help us limit the impact of loadshedding.

Eskom, implemented Stage 2 loadshedding at 6am on Saturday morning, saying the system was severely constrained and that it needed to implement loadshedding to replenish the depleted emergency generation reserves for the coming week.

Eskom said as it was ramping up its planned maintenance during the “lower demand summer period”, there had been a “large number of unforeseen breakdowns from the ageing, unreliable plant over the past few days”.

“In addition to this, Eskom has taken two generation units at the Kendal Power Station offline in compliance with environmental legislation. Similarly, four generation units at the Camden Power Station have been taken offline to conserve the integrity of the ash dam facility,” it said on Friday.

On October 29 Eskom said its Unit 2 at the Kusile power station in Mpumalanga province had attained commercial operation status and would contribute up to 800 megawatts to the national grid.

At the time, Eskom said this was the second unit at Kusile to enter commercial operation, with Unit 1 having done so in 2017.

“The commercial operation of Unit 2 is a major milestone that signifies the progress being made by Eskom towards the completion of the Kusile Build Project, on which lie the nation’s best hopes to bring stability and ensure security of electricity supply to power the South African economy,” Eskom’s group executive for capital projects Bheki Nxumalo said at the time.

Eskom said construction, testing and optimisation activities on the remaining four units were progressing well, with some of them currently providing intermittent power to support the grid.

Kusile is the first power station in South Africa and the continent to use state-of-the-art wet flue gas desulphurisation (WFGD) to remove oxides of sulphur from the exhaust flue gas in power plants that burn coal or oil.

The utility is fitting WFGD to the Kusile plant as an atmospheric emission abatement technology to ensure compliance with air quality standards, in line with current international practice.

Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of South Africa’s power, has struggled over the past decade to meet demand. This is largely due to frequent breakdowns in its ageing, historically badly maintained infrastructure, which have forced Eskom to implement rolling blackouts in order to avoid overwhelming the grid.

In September, Eskom said it had suspended managers at two of its power stations after breakdowns which forced the utility to ramp up rolling blackouts earlier this week to avoid tripping the national grid.

African News Agency (ANA)

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