Eskom has announced that load shedding will be hiked to stage 3 today, 19 November.
Eskom said that it needs to replenish its emergency reserves for the week ahead.
Thus, stage 3 will be implemented from 09:00 today until 05:00 on Monday, 20 November. The schedule for today initially had a rotation between stages 1 and 2.
The embattled power utility said that it will communicate the outlook for the week ahead this afternoon.
The news comes amid a rare win for the utility after it announced that Unit 1 at South Africa’s only nuclear power station – Koeberg – has been successfully reconnected to the grid.
The replacement of three steam generators at the unit faced several delays, pushing its completion date from June to November 2023.
The unit’s return adds just under 1,000 MW to the grid – or one stage of load shedding.
Unit 2 – which has been generating electricity throughout Unit 1’s outage – will also undergo a similar refurbishment process once all the required commissioning tests are finished on Unit 1.
Although Unit 2’s outage will be similar in scope, Eskom said that it learnt valuable lessons from Unit 1’s outage, meaning that the outage time should be reduced.
“The replacement of steam generators is a huge milestone in the life of Koeberg as it was identified by Eskom as a prerequisite for the extension of the operating licence for Loeberg beyond its original design life of 40 years,” Eskom said.
“Eskom has already submitted a licence application to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) for Koeberg’s operating life extension by an additional 20 years, which is being assessed by the NNR.”