File picture: Karen Sandison/ANA Pictures

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom on Monday said it was not implementing load shedding but the power grid was stretched with a low possibility of load shedding for the rest of week.

"We will keep our customers informed if there are any changes to the system. Eskom would like to thank its customers for assisting in keeping the power system stable by reducing their energy usage on Sunday when it implemented stage 1 load shedding," said Eskom group chief executive Phakamani Hadebe.

"Our customers’ response enabled us to increase our emergency reserves earlier than projected and we could therefore stop load shedding at 7pm instead of 10pm."

Hadebe said the wider context for the tight system performance was that their generation system currently faces operational challenges, which include deterioration of coal fired power stations, 10 stations with less than 20 coal stock days as per grid code requirement resulting in increased utilisation of emergency resources including open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs). 

The performance of the utility's generation system was below desired levels thus raising the risk of load shedding for the remainder of 2018.

"A 9-point recovery plan has been put in place to address our key operational challenges and these include fixing new plants, fixing full load losses and trips, fixing units on long-term forced outages, partial losses and boiler tube leaks, fixing outage duration and slips, fixing human capital, prepare for increased OCGT usage, prepare for rain and fixing coal stock piles."

"We encourage residents and businesses to please use electricity sparingly to ease the demand for electricity. Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand," said Hadebe.

Hadebe said customers were advised to keep checking their load shedding schedules on the Eskom or municipal website, and plan on the assumption that load shedding would take place.

Eskom would provide regular updates on the status of the power system through all media platforms.

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African News Agency (ANA)