South Africans can expect to endure Stage 6 load shedding continuously until struggling power utility Eskom says otherwise, starting from 16:00 on Wednesday afternoon.
Eskom’s latest power cut ramp-up comes after 11 of its generators – amounting to 5 084MW of generation capacity – failed to perform the critical service of feeding power to the grid. According to the utility, the units began failing on Tuesday morning.
“These were a unit each at the Camden, Duvha, Grootvlei, Hendrina, Kendal, and two units each at Kriel, Majuba and Matla power stations,” Eskom said in a statement.
“A unit each at Camden, Duvha, Hendrina, Kriel, Matimba and Matla power stations have returned to service, representing 2 540MW of capacity.”
On Tuesday Eskom intensified load shedding, reintroducing Stage 6 but only during evening peaks, citing similar reasons. Eskom reported that it had experienced a breakdown of seven units during the day, managing to return three units to service, with three other units seeing a delay to service, while another at Matla Power Station remained offline while a boiler tube leak was attended to.
Wednesday’s power alert noted that 5 739MW of generation capacity remains offline for planned maintenance while 18 041MW of generation is offline due to unplanned breakdowns
“Eskom requests the public to reduce the usage of electricity and to exercise patience and tolerance during this difficult period. Load shedding is implemented only as a last resort in view of the shortage of generation capacity and the need to attend to breakdowns,” Eskom said.
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