Eskom fires up its diesel turbines

Eskom’s diesel-burning Ankerlig power station

Eskom will reduce load shedding to stage 3, from the previously communicated stage 4, overnight on Thursday after securing a supply of diesel from PetroSA.

The state-owned utility secured the diesel following intervention by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, who has promised a longer-term solution to allow Eskom to secure the diesel it needs. Citing cash-flow problems, the company stopped buying diesel earlier this month to burn in its emergency open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs), plunging the country into higher levels of load shedding.

Stage-3 power cuts will be imposed from 4pm on Thursday until 5am on Friday, after which this will be reduced to stage 2 from 5am to 4pm. This pattern will be repeated “until further notice”, Eskom said.

“The continued implementation of load shedding is mainly due to the high levels of breakdowns and the limited emergency generation reserves,” the utility said.

“Since Wednesday afternoon, a generating unit each at Grootvlei, Kendal and Tutuka power stations were taken offline for repairs. Four units at Camden power station have also been taken offline to repair a water leak on a line that supplies auxiliary cooling water. A generating unit at Hendrina power station was returned to service.”

Duct failure

Three units at Kusile power station are still offline due to the duct (chimney structure) failure late in October and will remain offline for a few months, the company said.

Unit 1 of Koeberg nuclear power station will continue to generate at a reduced output over the next three weeks as the fuel is ramped down ahead of the refuelling and maintenance outage scheduled to commence during December 2022.  – © 2022 NewsCentral Media

Get TechCentral’s daily newsletter