Eskom increases load shedding as freezing weather grips SA

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Eskom has increased load shedding as several parts of the country experience freezing temperatures.

The parastatal said in order preserve emergency generation reserves, stage 4 load shedding will be implemented from 2pm on Tuesday until 5am on Wednesday.

Previously the power utility planned to implement stage 2 during the day.

Reduced generation

Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokwena said the reduced generation capacity as well as the high demand for electricity (about 33 000MW), has required extensive use of open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) and pump storage generation over the past 36 hours.

“Stage 3 load shedding will be implemented from 05:00 until 14:00, followed by stage 4 load shedding from 14:00 until 05:00 on Thursday. This pattern will continue to be implemented daily until further notice. Eskom will publish another update should any significant changes occur.

“Breakdowns have increased to 16 313MW of generating capacity while the generating capacity out of service for planned maintenance is reduced to 3 478MW,” Mokwena said.

Maintenance

Mokwena added that over the past 24 hours, a generating unit each at the Arnot, Matla and Medupi power stations was returned to service. Others, however, were taken out of service.

“In the same period, a generating unit at Matla and two generating units at Kriel power stations were taken out of service due to breakdowns. The delay in returning to service a generating unit at Kendal and two generating units at Tutuka power stations are contributing to the current capacity constraints.

“Eskom teams are working tirelessly to return these generating units to service. We appeal to the members of the public to assist in reducing demand and we would like to thank those who do heed the call to use electricity sparingly and efficiently,” Mokwena said.

Appeal

Eskom appealed to the public to switch off geysers and pool pumps from 5pm to 9pm.

“This lowers demand and helps in alleviating the pressure on the power system and contributes to lower stages of load shedding,” Eskom said.

The Citizen/Faizel Patel