Power stations should withstand Eloise but system is under pressure, says Eskom

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Eskom's Medupi power station
Eskom's Medupi power station
  • Eskom said tropical storm Eloise is not likely to have a negative impact on operations.
  • The risk remains with the possible flooding of rivers in the areas surrounding the transmission lines.
  • Eloise is expected to bring heavy rainfall and winds to Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal.

Eskom said the tropical storm Eloise has not had a major negative impact on the power utility's operations after the storm passed through some of Eskom's transmission lines in Cahora Bassa of Mozambique.

According to authorities the tropical storm is estimated to have claimed up to 12 lives in the region by Monday. The storm is also expected to continue bringing wind and heavy rains to provinces including Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga in the coming days.

The storm also passes parts of South Africa as Eskom says on it's Twitter account that the national power system is under pressure and asks people to switch off unnecessary appliances.

Eskom said in a statement on Monday that it would continue to monitor the storm and any impact it may have on operations, but that the power utility, as yet, had no cause for any concern.

"The high-risk sections of the transmission lines were reinforced after similar storms in previous years. The risk, however, remains with the possible flooding of rivers and uprooting of trees in the areas surrounding the transmission lines," the statement said.

The statement said heavy rainfall of a duration of less than four days rarely threatens power station operations, but that continuous heavy rainfall for over four days may "hamper coal handling at the power stations and the mines supplying them".

"Should there be any significant impact, Eskom will communicate timeously. Power lines in some parts of the Mpumalanga, Limpopo and northern KwaZulu-Natal provinces did experience localised outages as a result of trees and poles falling on power lines districts," the statement said.

Eskom urged consumers to use electricity sparingly, reminding South Africans that the national grid could come under pressure and necessitate load shedding on short notice if electricity consumption is not managed.

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