Eskom sidesteps load shedding amid increased maintenance

Cape Town - Power utility Eskom said on Thursday that Unit 2 at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station has been returned to service and is currently operating at full load. The unit had been shut down for a scheduled outage on August 31 as part of Eskom’s overall maintenance programme for its fleet of power stations.

Every 16 to 18 months, each of the two units at Koeberg is shut down for refuelling, inspection and maintenance, the power utility said. The routine shutdowns are scheduled so as to avoid having both units out of service at the same time and to avoid the winter months in each year. Eskom also said it plans to take full advantage of lower electricity demand during the festive season to conduct more maintenance on its power stations.

Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said 6 700 MW of Eskom's electricity capacity is currently unavailable due to planned outages, and 5 000 MW because of unplanned outages. Phasiwe said Eskom would ramp up planned maintenance to 7 500 MW during the holidays. "The plan is to continue carrying out the requisite maintenance programme without load shedding as we have done over the past three months," Phasiwe said.

Eskom said it is progressing well with the maintenance of its power generating plants while keeping the electricity system stable.

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