Eskom has announced that it is implementing Stage 2 load shedding from 12:00 today (Thursday) until Sunday at 23:00.
This is due to a loss of generation capacity overnight. The utility said load shedding is also necessary to manage the use of emergency reserves, “which will help us contain the stage of load shedding required.”
Two generation units at Kusile Power Station tripped “due to the failure of the main coal feed conveyor belts supplying coal to the units”. Kriel and Duvha power stations also each had a unit trip due to unforeseen breakdowns. Eskom said it has four generation units whose return to service from planned maintenance has been delayed.
The power utility’s supply is tight, with 5 358MW on planned maintenance, and another 14 748 MW unavailable due to unplanned maintenance, breakdowns and outage delays.
It added that the system remains vulnerable and unpredictable, and further breakdowns may see the load shedding stage change at short notice.
Eskom has implemented stage 2 load shedding twice in the past month to “preserve its emergency generation reserves”.
Unit one of Koeberg Nuclear Power Station was taken offline earlier this month for maintenance, ahead of schedule, after “an increasing leak rate was observed on one of three steam generators” and is only expected to return to service during May 2021
Koeberg supplies stable and predictable baseload power generation of just more than 1 800 megawatts (MW), which has now halved. This must add to the generation capacity challenge.