System constrained, but no load shedding expected on Monday

Despite a constrained and vulnerable power system, no loadshedding is expected on Monday and the probability of further power cuts remains low for the rest of the week, says Eskom. 

Eskom said in a statement that the system’s improvement was largely as a result of several units being returned to service from planned and unplanned maintenance, and achieving a healthy water level at its pumped storage schemes to prepare for the week ahead.

"Eskom continues to replenish diesel reserves for the open cycle gas turbines which enable us to avoid and/or minimise loadshedding. Repairs are progressing well on the conveyor belt at Medupi power station, which should reach full capacity by the end of the week.

"We remind customers that despite this progress, the power system is constrained and while every effort is made to avoid loadshedding, it could be implemented at short notice should there be a significant shift in plant performance and increased unplanned technical breakdowns.

 "Customers are encouraged to continue to use electricity sparingly. Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.  As we are experiencing a heat wave in some parts of the country, we ask that you use your air conditioners efficiently at 23ºC."

On Sunday morning, Eskom cautioned that "the power system is constrained and while we are making every effort to avoid loadshedding, it could be implemented at short notice should there be a significant shift in plant performance and increased unplanned technical breakdowns".

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It explained that additional generating units are expected to return to service on Sunday and repairs are progressing well on the conveyor belt at Medupi power station. In addition, Eskom has had an opportunity to replenish diesel reserves for the open cycle gas turbines and to increase water levels at its pumped storage schemes in preparation for the week ahead.

These reserves enable Eskom to avoid or minimise the extent of loadshedding.

Eskom said it will be in a better position to provide a prognosis for Monday and the coming week, after reviewing the performance of the electricity system on Sunday evening.

"We will continue to keep South Africans informed about the status of the electricity system and our recovery efforts," Eskom said.

"As we are experiencing a heat wave in some parts of the country, we ask that you use your air conditioners efficiently at 23ºC. Eskom would like to thank customers for their support in reducing demand by using electricity sparingly and industrial customers for their participation in load curtailment, when necessary," Eskom said.

Eskom announced late on Saturday that no load shedding is planned for Sunday when the Springboks take on Japan in the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup.The match at Tokyo Stadium is set to start at 12:15 SA time.

Earlier in the week the utility blamed the current wave of power cuts, which began on Wednesday, on boiler leaks and the breakdown of a conveyor belt transporting coal to Medupi power station. Eskom also said delays in returning units that were on planned maintenance to service contributed to supply constraints, as did diesel shortages.

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