More power outages expected: report

South Africans can expect new rounds of power blackouts as Eskom struggles to meet the country’s electricity demand. This is according to a report in the Sunday Times.

The report quotes electricity pundit Chris Yelland as saying that there should be more – not fewer – planned blackouts in the coming months.

“This is because Eskom admitted that over the low-demand holiday season, it had 8000MW of unplanned outages and only 5000MW of planned outages,” said Yelland.

According to Yelland Eskom needs to increase planned outages to ensure that the unplanned outage numbers decrease.

Eskom said that the possibility of load shedding depended on whether “the open cycle gas turbines could keep adding 2000MW of power a day to the grid”.

Medupi first sync delay

Yelland meanwhile highlighted that Eskom missed its deadline of 24 December 2014 to synchronize unit 6 at the new Medupi power station to the national grid.

In a press statement on 2 January 2015, Eskom said that the “first unit of the Medupi power station (namely, unit 6) is close to first synchronisation”.

“However, the only step necessary before finally admitting steam to the turbine is to clean the boiler and associated pipework from all scale, welding residue and contaminants, arising from the construction process.”

Yelland was not impressed. “They ignore the deadline, and now waffle on in the above media without telling us when the first sync will actually take place,” he said.

The full report is available in the Sunday Times from 4 January 2014.

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More power outages expected: report