Eskom: Stage 2 load shedding now under way

13:50 update:

Cape Town - Eskom said it would move from stage 1 to stage 2 load shedding at 14:00 on Wednesday, which was expected to continue until 22:00.

"This was due to a shortage of generation capacity as additional units have had to be taken out of service for unplanned maintenance due to technical faults," it said in a statement.

"In the morning we mentioned that Majuba Power Station’s unit 3, Duvha’s unit 2 and Koeberg’s unit 1 are on unplanned maintenance. Now we have two more units that have had to be taken off service.

"At the Kriel Power Station, unit 3 experienced a boiler tube leak, and Camden’s unit 4 has a generator hydrogen leak."

13:00 update:

Eskom announced on Twitter that it will shift load shedding from stage 1 to 2 from 14:00 until 22:00 on Wednesday.

"Load shedding will move into stage 2 from 14h00. This is as a result of power station units not returning to service as planned," Eskom tweeted at 13:02.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told Fin24 on Tuesday that a move to stage 2 was something Eskom tried to avoid at all costs.

READ: Customers helped end load shedding

“Generally, for us as a company and as a country, [stage 2 load shedding] is not something we would really like to go into,” he said.

“Even stage 1 [is not something we want], because stage 1 is just us trying to protect the system from collapsing,” he said. “But you don’t want to go beyond stage 1, because obviously it means that more people are affected and for a much longer duration of time.”

Stage 1 allows for up to 1000MW, stage 2 allows for up to 2000MW and stage 3 allows for up to 4000MW of the national load to be shed.

09:40 update:

Eskom said in a press release that the reason for load shedding on Wednesday was "due to a shortage of generation capacity as several units are currently on unplanned outages due to technical faults".

Meanwhile, the DA is protesting outside Eskom's headquarters to demonstrate their support of breaking Eskom’s monopoly over South Africa’s power supply. 

Keep up-to-date on this live protest here.

In an earlier tweet posted at 06:20, it warned of a high risk of load shedding, saying the grid was under pressure. "Any changes on the generating plant can result in load shedding," Eskom said.

The utility said there was a fault at Majuba power station, where Unit 3 has a stuck ash conveyer belt, while Duvha’s Unit 2 tripped on Tuesday night due to a technical fault on the electrical side. The fault is currently being repaired.

Koeberg’s Unit 1, which experienced an earth fault on the generator transformer on Sunday, is still undergoing repairs and is expected to be at full capacity by the end of the week. The same unit is scheduled for a planned outage on February 9 2015, and will be returned to service again in May, Eskom said.

In Cape Town, power has been restored to all areas in Blackheath, which had been affected by a vandalism incident on Tuesday at the three mini substations.

"The power system remains constrained and will remain so for the rest of this week. Any extra load or faults in the system may necessitate the need to go into load shedding," Eskom said. It urged all customers to reduce their consumption to reduce the severity of load shedding.

READ: Eskom: Customers helped end load shedding

Electricity consumers customers can check load shedding schedules on the Eskom website. Alternatively, they could contact the customer call centre on 0860 037 566. Municipal customers are urged to contact their local authorities.

Regular updates on the status of the power system will be provided throughout the day, Eskom said.

Stage 1 load shedding will end at 22:00 - As it happened

DA to march on Eskom headquarters

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