Eskom load shedding suspended – for now

Power utility Eskom says that there is no expected load shedding on Monday, with the very low probability for the rest of the week.

This follows four days of load shedding last week, after the group lost generating capacity at several units at Medupi power station.

The station was hit by unplanned maintenance, while battle with coal supply due to a technical fault on the conveyor belt feeding coal to the stations.

Load shedding was initially supposed to be suspended by Saturday, but further equipment failures led to a drop in generating capacity at three more units.

There was no load shedding on Sunday, but the system was ‘on watch’. However, Eskom has now said that, barring any unforeseen system failure, load shedding should be kept at bay this week.

“Despite a constrained and vulnerable system, no load shedding is expected on Monday, and the probability of load shedding remains low for the rest of the week,” Eskom said.

The improvement of the system has been attributed to several units returning to service from both planned and unplanned maintenance, as well as “healthy” water levels at its pumped storage schemes.

“Eskom continues to replenish diesel reserves for the open cycle gas turbines which will enable us to avoid and/or minimise load shedding,” it said.

Repairs are also progressing on the conveyor belt at Medupi, which should reach full capacity by the end of the week, it said.

However, Eskom did warn that things can still change at short notice.

“The power system is constrained, and while every effort is made to avoid load shedding, it could be implemented should there be a significant shift in plant performance and an increase in unplanned breakdowns,” it said.

As is the usual line from the power utility, customers have been urged to use electricity sparingly to keep unnecessary pressure off the grid.

In light of the current heatwave hitting some areas of the country, the group advised that air conditioners be set  to run more “efficiently” at 23 degrees.

Read: Eskom load shedding is costing the economy as much as R5 billion a day

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Eskom load shedding suspended – for now