Stage-5 load shedding – Eskom crisis spirals into the new week

The Eskom crisis continues to spiral. The state-owned utility will implement stage-5 load shedding from Monday until at least Wednesday, it warned on Sunday, caused in part by its decision to dial back use of its diesel-burning open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs).

The rolling national power cuts – which in 2022 are already far worse than in any previous year – will be implemented at stage 4 from 5pm on Sunday until 4pm on Monday, when they will be ratcheted up even further, to stage 5.

They will then be implemented again at stage 5 between 4pm and midnight on both Tuesday and Wednesday. For the remaining time they will be implemented at various stages between 2 and 4, Eskom said.

“Changes in the stages of load shedding will be more erratic due to the absence of the buffer that is normally provided by the diesel generation capacity between generating unit breakdowns,” it said. Eskom has stopped burning diesel, warning earlier this week that its extensive use of its emergency OCGTs has affected its cash flow.

Read: Now Eskom warns of ‘erratic’ shifts in load shedding

Three units at the Kusile power station are now offline due to a chimney failure that occurred in late October and will remain offline for several months while the structure is repaired. At the same time, a unit at the Koeberg nuclear power station continues to generate electricity at a reduced output ahead of a planned refuelling and maintenance outage that will begin next month.

Read: Alleged Eskom power station saboteur nailed

Several coal-generating units have also been taken offline for service, compounding the situation.  – © 2022 NewsCentral Media

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