Eskom confirms stage 6 load shedding to continue until Wednesday evening

Eskom confirms stage 6 load shedding to continue until Wednesday evening

Eskom confirms stage 6 load shedding to continue until Wednesday evening

Stage 6 rolling blackouts are set to continue across South Africa until Wednesday evening, according to outgoing Eskom chief executive officer (CEO) André de Ruyter.

“We will have load shedding stage 6 prevailing until Wednesday evening peak. And by Thursday, we will then be able to start phasing that down to load shedding stage 4 with load shedding stage 3 being reached by the weekend,” he said.

Stage 6 load shedding

De Ruyter made the announcement on Monday afternoon during a virtual media briefing on the parastatal’s system challenges.

This followed Eskom‘s decision at the weekend to ramp up load shedding from stage 4 to stage 6 power cuts until further notice.

The struggling power utility said this was due to breakdowns of a generating unit each at Arnot, Hendrina, Lethabo, and Majuba, as well as two units at Camden power station.

Coal supply constraints

The situation was further exacerbated by two generating units at the Lethabo power station that were shut down due to coal constraints because the New Vaal Mine that supplies the station was unable to deliver the expected amount of coal during the past week due to heavy rains.

De Ruyter said Eskom was planning to return back to service about 3 000MW on Monday from Lethabo power station.

“We are looking at Lethabo units 4, 5, and 2 – those are the three units that are out – and a unit at Camden power station.

“Following that, we are looking at returning by the end of today [Monday] about 3 000MW of capacity followed by a further 2 000MW each for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. That will significantly alleviate the current constraint that we face in terms of generation capacity,” he said.

The Eskom CEO said 3 766MW of generating capacity was out of service for planned maintenance.

De Ruyter said the parastatal had full losses of 12 318MW, which he described as an extremely high number, that led to the escalation of rolling blackouts from stage 4 to stage 6.

“Then we’ve got partial losses, also very high, of 5 993MW. And then we have outside capacity loss factors – which relates mainly to the supply of coal at Lethabo Power Station – sitting at 2 100MW.

“The demand that we are forecasting for evening peak is 27 282MW. And then there is a shortfall in generation capacity of 5 834MW.”

Eskom’s diesel challenges

De Ruyter said Eskom was running its open-cycle gas turbines in order to keep the national grid from collapsing.

He said the power utility’s challenges in relation to funding for diesel were resolved due to the intervention from National Treasury.

“It is not a definite amount because we are obviously continuing to consume diesel to buy diesel as we go on. But we have obtained the support of the National Treasury to give assurance to the banks from whom we are borrowing money to buy the diesel… Treasury will stand behind these loans, and that has given us the ability to be able to ease the liquidity constraint,” said De Ruyter.

The outgoing Eskom CEO added that the probability of the power utility implementing stage 8 load shedding was “very low”.

“At this point in time, we do not anticipate that there is a risk of going beyond stage 8 … I can give the country the assurance that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that we do not end up in a situation where we go beyond that.”

Comments are closed.