Severe load shedding returns – stage 4 until further notice

Widespread breakdowns in Eskom’s generation fleet saw South Africa plunged back into stage-4 load shedding in the early hours of Friday morning.

At around dawn – 5.26am, to be precise – Eskom escalated the severity of the planned rolling blackouts due to “breakdowns amounting to 17.1GW of generation capacity, low pumped-storage dam levels and lack of diesel”.

Eskom using pumped-storage dams and its diesel-burning open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) to keep help reduce the severity of load shedding.

Earlier this week, the company’s chief operating officer, Jan Oberholzer, said that because of the high number of unplanned outages this year, it had been forced to burn millions of litres of additional diesel than planned due to its heavy reliance on the OCGTs.

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Oberholzer said this was leading to cash-flow issues because the utility was spending significant sums on diesel while municipalities and government organisations still owe it billions of rand.

Oberholzer added that in the next few months, there was a high probability of load shedding continuing.  – © 2022 NewsCentral Media

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