Load-shedding returns to Mzansi!

16 October 2019 - 07:55 By TIMESLIVE
Eskom has warned that there is a risk of load-shedding today.
Eskom has warned that there is a risk of load-shedding today.
Image: Eskom

Eskom on Wednesday announced that stage 2 load-shedding is likely to be implemented from 9am to 11pm.

The power alert stated this is “due to a shortage of capacity”.

Energy expert Chris Yelland said he was receiving information of “major Eskom generation capacity supply shortages as unplanned generation breakdowns (UCLF) spiked yesterday and continue today”.

Yelland tweeted that he had been told of one reactor down at Koeberg, four units down with boiler tube leaks, a problem at Grootvlei, and a conveyor down from Grootegeluk to Matimba.

The City of Johannesburg has advised that load-shedding is expected in the inner city and Johannesburg north between 9am and 11pm.

On the West Rand in Florida and surrounds, also in the Alexandra and Kyalami areas, electricity will be out between 12pm and 4:30pm.

In the Cresta, Bryanston and Houghton areas, electricity will be out from 4pm to 8:30pm.

Johannesburg Central, Rosebank, Killarney and the south of Johannesburg areas are expected be without electricity from 8pm to 11pm.

Stage-two load-shedding entails Eskom dropping 2,000MW from the grid to prevent it from tripping.

The City of Cape Town said its residents would only have stage 1 loadshedding, "as we started to generate additional capacity from 09:00".

Rotational power cuts were also implemented in March this year.

Eskom previously introduced nationwide blackouts in 2015 and 2018.

This week, President Cyril Ramaphosa told a Financial Times conference in London that the government is poised to overhaul Eskom's executive management, strengthen the board and address the company’s spiralling debt.

Business Day reports that a new round of load-shedding during the summer, when Eskom experiences demand throughout the day and not just at peak periods, has been widely anticipated by Eskom watchers. The company put in place a “summer plan”, but plant performance has fallen below expectation.

Last month, Eskom communicated that “while no load-shedding is expected over summer, the risk however remains as the system is still tight and vulnerable, as we ramp up plant maintenance. Eskom continues to encourage residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly.”

Wednesday's load-shedding announcement comes on the day the cabinet is due to deliberate on the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the government’s long-term planning strategy to meet electricity demand.

The load-shedding underlines the urgency of procuring new capacity as Eskom’s poor plant performance continues to threaten the security of supply.

Organised business has urged the government to begin another procurement round for renewable energy, the quickest form of energy generation to build. It is hoped the publication of the IRP — which is years overdue — will lead to urgent new procurement.


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