Stage 4 load-shedding kicking in from 2pm due to wet coal, water shortages

06 December 2019 - 12:42 By Orrin Singh
Eskom confirmed on Friday that stage 4 load-shedding would start from 2pm.
Eskom confirmed on Friday that stage 4 load-shedding would start from 2pm.
Image: 123RF/rasslava

Eskom will implement stage 4 load-shedding from 2pm on Friday.

The embattled power utility's spokesperson, Nto Rikhotso, confirmed to TimesLIVE at 12.30pm that stage 4 would last until at least 6am on Saturday.

“Available capacity has gone down, and demand has increased,” she said.

Explaining the reasons for the upgrade from stage 2 — which started at 4pm on Thursday — she said: “Last night [Thursday] we implemented load-shedding because we wanted to augment water resources. Some of the units we expected to come back [online]  did not come back.

“Further to that, this morning [Friday], because of the rain, we are starting to experience coal-handling issues because some stations now have wet coal, and thus more units are not able to generate,” said Rikhotso.

She said should the situation change, it would be communicated to the public.

In a media statement, Eskom said that unavailable capacity had increased to 13,000MW, citing that this, with a higher demand of about 1,000MW, necessitated load-shedding to move up from stage 2 to stage 4.

“In addition, the increase in the load-shedding stage is intended, among other things, to cater for unplanned further trips and to create capacity to replenish water reserves for our pumped storage schemes. We continue to utilise diesel and water resources at our open cycle gas turbines and pumped storage schemes respectively, to supplement capacity,” the statement read.

Stage 4 load-shedding calls for 4,000MW to be rotationally shed nationally at a given point.

Eskom said its emergency response command centre would continue to monitor the system, while technical teams work around the clock to return additional units to the grid.

“We will keep South Africans informed about the status of the electricity system and our recovery efforts throughout this period,” Eskom said.

Customers can check their load-shedding schedules on the Eskom website or through their customer contact centre on 086 003 7566.