Maintenance, breakdowns force Eskom to implement Stage 3 load shedding
Eskom will provide a further update on Friday afternoon.
A general view of Tutuka Power Station on 18 November 2021 in Standerton. Picture: Gallo Images/Rapport/Deon Raath
Eskom has provided the load shedding schedule for the rest of the week as the utility continues with maintenance at its power stations.
On Wednesday, Eskom announced that Stage 3 load shedding would kick in from 4pm until 5am the following day.
Stage 2 load shedding will then come into effect at the same time.
South Africa will alternate between the two load shedding stages until Saturday.
“This pattern of implementing Stage 2 load shedding from 5am until 4pm and Stage 3 from 4pm until 5am will repeated until Saturday morning.
“Eskom will provide a further update on Friday afternoon,” the energy supplier said in a brief statement.
The power utility explained the rolling blackouts needed to be escalated due to ongoing maintenance as well as breakdowns of generation units.
“In spite of the return to service of 3 200 MW [megawatts] of generation capacity in the last 48 hours, the need to continue to do planned maintenance and the setback of losing four generating units, necessitates the implementation of Stage 3 load shedding from 4pm today until 5am on Thursday.
“Eskom will closely monitor the power system and communicate should any significant changes occur,” Eskom said.
Eskom ramped up its maintenance in December, thus, resulting in higher load shedding stages.
Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa had previously said that maintenance would be increased during the summer months.
South Africa lost about 2 500MW to 3 000 MW to planned maintenance in winter.
Currently, breakdowns stand at 14 894 MW of generating capacity, according to Eskom.
Additionally, the capacity out of service for planned maintenance stood at 8 336 MW.
“Eskom power station general managers and their teams will continue to work diligently to return the units out of service, including the 606MW of generating capacity planned to be returned to service this evening. Eskom’s load forecast for the evening peak demand for Wednesday is 25 503MW.”
The power utility further thanked households who use electricity sparingly and efficiently, including switching off geysers and pool pumps between 5pm and 9pm.
“This lowers demand and helps in alleviating the pressure on the power system and contributes to lower stages of load shedding.”