LISTEN | Load-shedding worsens as more power units fail
Stage 4 started at 10am on Tuesday
A “sudden tripping” of three Kendal power station units has led to stage 4 load-shedding starting at 10am on Tuesday. This will be in force until 5am on Thursday, says Eskom.
Stage 2 load-shedding is then expected to be implemented until midnight on Friday.
A day ago, the power utility envisaged the country could move from stage 3 to stage 2 from Tuesday.
Explaining the reason for the worsening power outages, Eskom said: “In the early hours this morning a conveyor belt feeding coal into Kendal power station failed.
“To conserve coal, the power output of the generators was reduced, but this required fuel oil to be used to sustain the boiler combustion. Subsequently, the fuel oil plant supplying the units experienced a failure and shut down. This resulted in the trip of the three generating units.”
The Kendal units are anticipated to return to service by the weekend.
Before this, a generating unit each at Arnot and Medupi power stations were taken offline for emergency repairs.
“The breakdowns have resulted in intense use of the pumped storage schemes and the open-cycle gas turbines. These emergency generation reserves are designed to fill the generation gap resulting from exactly for this kind of emergency and cannot be used continuously.
“While some generation units are anticipated to return to service over the next 24 hours, it is necessary to increase load-shedding to conserve the emergency reserves.”
Eskom said it had 5,446MW on planned maintenance and 16,985MW of capacity was unavailable due to breakdowns.
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