Load shedding to stay at stage 4 as Eskom struggles to get diesel – and shuts more units down

 ·28 Sep 2022

Power utility Eskom says that load shedding will remain at stage 4 until further notice as it struggles to preserve diesel for its Open Cycle Gas Turbines.

The group said it is also struggling with technical issues at one of its power stations, resulting in three units being shut down, with four more units coming offline shortly.

“Load shedding will, unfortunately, remain implemented at Stage 4 throughout the night and continue until diesel stocks have been fully replenished,” it said.

“The vessel that is supposed to offload diesel at Mossel Bay cannot berth due to rough seas. Eskom has to therefore preserve the low diesel levels at Gourikwa, while delivery to Ankerlig will take time to replenish as it is done by road tankers.”

Load shedding was initially supposed to move to stage 3 between 00h00 and 16h00 through to Saturday, only moving to stage 4 from 16h00 to midnight.

Stage 4 will now be maintained until Eskom can resume diesel supplies to the two Open Cycle Gas Turbine stations.

Meanwhile, Camden Power Station has a technical problem with the water chemistry, and has shut three units already on Wedenday, and will shut the remaining four units.

South Africa has been suffering continued blackouts for weeks, with load shedding hitting its worst point at stage 6, followed by a week of stage 5 outages. Energy availability has been its lowest on record, with the estimate for September at 51%.

The country has also hit other records, including the longest streak of load shedding. Analyst estimate that South Africa’s economy is losing between R150 million and R200 million a day due to load shedding.

Eskom recently published its load shedding outlook for the rest of the year, noting that it has to keep unplanned outages below 13,000MW to minimise rolling blackouts.

In a more load shedding-heavy scenario, if outages remain above 14,500MW, stage 2 load shedding will be frequent for the foreseeable future. If the power utility cannot keep outages under 16,000MW, load shedding at higher stages becomes the standard.

Schedules 

For people living in the major metros, load shedding schedules are available here:

For access to other load shedding schedules, Eskom has made them available on loadshedding.eskom.co.za.

Smartphone users can also download the app EskomSePush to receive push notifications when load shedding is implemented, as well as the times the area you are in will be off.


Read: South Africa needs R1.2 trillion to end the energy crisis: Eskom

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