Eskom downgrades load shedding

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Load shedding has been slightly eased by Eskom to Stage 4 from 5am to 4pm daily with Stage 5 kicking in thereafter.

This as Eskom says it expects to return at least 14 generating units to service this week which the power utility said will “ease the pressure on the power system”.

“Eskom cautions the public, however, that there is a high degree of uncertainty associated with this and that these changes will only be possible in their entirety if the units return to service as planned. Changes in the stages of load shedding can therefore occur at short notice, due to the inherent unreliability of the coal power station fleet.

“A further update will be published as soon as any significant changes occur,” Eskom said.

The electricity supplier said it has also procured more diesel for its emergency generating units with a further two units also back online.

“Eskom procured an additional 50 million litres of diesel on 06 January 2023. This fuel will be utilised sparingly to manage the pumped storage dam levels and to limit the amount of load shedding during the day. Together, these emergency generators contribute 5 700MW of capacity.

“A generating unit each at Kendal, Majuba and Tutuka power stations have returned to service,” Eskom said.

By Monday evening, breakdowns at power stations have rendered some 16 173MW of capacity unavailable with at least 5804MW also offline due to maintenance.

“The summer planned maintenance programme continues, and will taper off during the winter months, helping to make more capacity available to produce electricity. There are currently 12 generators out on planned maintenance,” Eskom said. –