Monday, 08 November 2021

Johannesburg: Eskom has warned that it may have to escalate load shedding, as the power system remains “volatile and unpredictable”.

On Sunday, the power utility announced that it expects to continue with stage two load shedding until Saturday morning.

Eskom said events over the weekend caused the power utility to implement stage two load shedding for this week despite announcing that this would end on Saturday morning.

Breakdowns have caused a loss of at least 16 693MW from the grid while planned maintenance is 5 769MW of capacity.

“On Saturday…there was a major incident in Zambia that affected the entire Southern African Power Pool. During this incident the imported power from Cahora Bassa reduced by 1 000MW while a Tutuka generator also tripped. Furthermore, a unit at Tutuka power station was forced to shut down while there were further delays in returning a unit each at Lethabo and Majuba power stations.

“On Sunday…a unit each at Medupi and Matla power stations tripped. The high usage of OCGTs over the past two weeks has resulted in limited diesel stock being available.  Bulk diesel supply for the OCGT power stations is expected in mid-November,” the entity said.

Furthermore, Eskom said its units had not recovered enough over the weekend.

“Despite the implementation of Stage two load shedding, the events over [the weekend] have required extensive use of emergency generating reserves, hampering the recovery of the dam levels at the pumped storage power stations and depleting already low diesel levels,” Eskom said.

Despite these challenges, the power utility said some generating units had returned online after breakdowns.

“Eskom teams successfully returned two of the three generators at Kendal Power Station following the shut down on Friday due to coal constraints. A unit each at Lethabo and Majuba power station was returned to service from boiler tube leak repairs. A total of 12 generating units with a combined capacity of 5 271MW are expected to return to service during the week.”