Cape Town - Electricity company Eskom said it was implementing Stage 2 load shedding until 11 pm on Wednesday as capacity remained constraint, albeit at a lesser level than earlier in the week, adding that the probability for further rolling blackouts remained high for the rest of the week.
"Load shedding has been reduced to Stage 2 as we have made good progress in the system recovery largely as a result of several units being returned to service and the recovery from localised flooding at our power stations," said the state-owned utility, which implemented Stage 4 rotational power cuts on Tuesday, involving the suppression of up to 4 000 MW of demand at any given time to avoid collapsing the grid.
Eskom said it continued to use diesel for its open cycle gas turbines and water at pumped storage schemes to supplement capacity, adding: "As the generating plant continues to perform at low levels of reliability, any unexpected shift such as an increase in unplanned breakdowns could result in a change in the load shedding stage at short notice."
It said its focus was to reduce unplanned breakdowns to below 9 500 MW to minimise and stop load shedding next week.
On Tuesday night, the power utility said it had made good progress in recovering from localised flooding at some power stations and had returned several units as scheduled.