Eskom: No load shedding anticipated this week

No load shedding is anticipated this week, as there have been improvements in the electricity system, Eskom said.

The power utility issued an update on the power system, on Sunday evening via its Twitter account.

“No load shedding anticipated this week due to the electricity system gradually improving,” Eskom tweeted.

According to a statement from Eskom, the power system is still “vulnerable” and load shedding could still be implemented, but only when “absolutely necessary”.

Eskom stopped implementing load shedding from 23:00 on Saturday evening, for the first time in more than a week, Fin24 reported.

The power utility had introduced Stage 4 load shedding on Saturday, March 16. Apart from plant failures, a contributing factor was the cyclone in Mozambique which affected imports of 900 MW from the country’s Cahora Bassa dam.

But earlier on Sunday, the power utility issued a statement indicating that five units had returned to service since Friday, and imports from Mozambique had increased to 850 MW due to the restoration of one of the power lines. The second line could take several months to restore, Eskom said.

“Employees continue to work around the clock to restore stability to operations and supply,” Eskom said.

At a briefing on the electricity crisis, earlier this week CEO Phakamani Hadebe said Eskom has set aside R50bn over the next five years for maintenance as ageing infrastructure is unable to keep up with electricity demand.

There had been a decline in spending on maintenance in the last few years and the previous administration at Eskom had pushed the power system hard to keep the lights on, he explained.

The government recently appointed 11 industry specialists to a technical review team. The team is conducting a review of Eskom’s operations, technical environment and maintenance to get to the bottom of plant failures, which have caused the recent bout of load shedding.

 

Original article first appeared on Fin24 on March 24, 2019.

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