South Africa’s state-owned power utility has implemented power cuts on 100 days in 2022, with more to come.
Eskom Holdings ramped up outages to so-called Stage 4 load shedding, where it removes 4 000 megawatts from the grid, on Tuesday after three generation units at its Kendal coal-fired station about 100km east of Johannesburg tripped. The utility expects to reduce this to 2 000 megawatts from Thursday until the end of the week. That will bring the total days of outages in the third quarter to 40, Bloomberg calculations show.
Eskom on the brink as outages again spiral to record levels
Eskom intensifies load shedding to Stage 4
Load shedding here for a year or more – Eskom COO
Eskom is struggling to meet electricity demand because its old and poorly maintained power stations continually break down. The energy shortages are weighing on business confidence and output, and contributed to a 0.7% quarter-on-quarter contraction in the economy in the three months through June.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced steps in July to encourage private power generation to supplement supply from renewable sources. Eskom chief operating Ooficer Jan Oberholzer has warned that these plans may not deliver results for the next 12 months or so.
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