No load shedding expected today, but system is vulnerable

While the electricity system remains constrained and vulnerable, no load shedding is expected on Thursday.

The electricity system remains under severe pressure with more than 10 500MW in electricity unavailable due to planned or unplanned breakdowns at coal-fired power generating stations, Eskom said in a statement.

"We remind customers that any unexpected shift such as additional unplanned breakdowns or the unavailability of diesel for our open cycle gas turbines or water levels out pumped storage schemes could result in load shedding at short notice."

Unplanned outages above 9 500 MW mean Eskom has to resort to emergency power generation by using open cycle gas turbines and pumped-storage hydroelectric plants.

These are very expensive ways of generating power, particularly the gas turbines, which require large quantities of diesel. They can only be used for short periods before diesel and water reserves start running out.

The emergency response command centre will continue to monitor the system and to implement contingencies to "avoid and/or minimise load shedding this week," Eskom said.

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