No load shedding in over a month

Eskom has not implemented load shedding for 36 consecutive days, it said on Monday.

The power utility’s Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer said the power utility remains fully committed to working diligently over the coming months to recover the power system through the implementation of the Generation 9-Point Plan which sets out to improve the energy availability factor (EAF).

At a media briefing earlier this month, Eskom and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) unveiled the Winter Plan aimed at avoiding load shedding or at least limiting it to Stage 1 this winter.

 “As we continue to perform essential plant maintenance, while carefully balancing the country’s energy requirements with the available capacity, the risk that we may implement load shedding over the next six to 12 months remains. However, this will only be done as a last resort,” said Oberholzer.

Oberholzer added that Eskom teams executed daily planned maintenance totalling in excess of 7 000 MW over the Easter weekend, along with improvements at a number of stations.

The unplanned plant failures (UCLF), which at times reached over 12 000 MW, dropped to as low as 5 260 MW over the Easter weekend.

Eskom has seen improvement in plant performance and the recovery of diesel tank levels at open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) as well as better management of dam levels at pumped-storage schemes. 

“This shift demonstrates Eskom’s commitment to the provision of sustainable electricity and is due to the hard work and dedication of Eskom employees,” he said.

He added that there has also been a recovery of supply from one of the two Cahora Bassa power lines, which is now contributing up to 900 MW to the grid.

In addition, work on the new power stations (Kusile and Medupi) continues with Kusile Unit 3 successfully synchronised to the national grid for the first time on 14 April 2019.

“It has already achieved 400 MW but it must be noted that capability tests and acceptance testing will continue on this unit for the next few months.”

The power utility encouraged residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly by switching off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.

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