Power utility Eskom cannot say when its latest round of load shedding will end, says spokesman Sikonathi Mantshantsha.
“The reality is we don’t know which of the coal units are going to fail on any given day, that is true for both the old and the new units,” Mantshantsha said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday (15 July).
Mantshantsha said that Eskom has assembled a team led by one of its senior engineers to try to improve the performance of problem power stations.
He added that morning peak power demand on Wednesday was at its highest this year because of extreme cold weather, compounding the generation shortfall.
“Once this bout of load shedding is over, it would be naive to think we are done with load-shedding,” Mantshantsha said. “We don’t have a single extra megawatt since we implemented stage 6 load-shedding during summer.”
The power utility said that it would move to stage 2 load shedding on Wednesday from 14:00 until 22:00, due to a shortage of capacity.
“Please note that the power system is severely constrained as demand is constantly increasing,” it said in a statement on social media
“We are currently 2,000MW higher than yesterday. Please switch off electric heaters, geysers, pool pumps and other non-essential appliances.”
Loadshedding is a disruptive but necessary inconvenience. Following these handy tips will ensure that you are adequately prepared pic.twitter.com/nGcGsJreJI
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) July 14, 2020
Eskom said on Tuesday, that it was able to return a generation unit at the Medupi and Majuba power stations to service. In addition, a unit at the Koeberg station was synchronised into the grid on Monday.
It said that it was, therefore, able to move to stage 1 load shedding. However, this has been short-lived.