The Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter says that chances of reaching Stage 8 rolling blackouts have started to recede.
The National Energy Crisis Committee has identified structural faults in the design of new power stations as factors that are contributing to the current electricity supply constraints.
On Saturday, the committee released a 6 month progress update on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan.
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It has concluded that the on-going rolling blackouts are due to historical under investment in assets to generate electricity.
De Ruyter has conceded that they are in a difficult situation but says it’s not all doom and gloom.
He elaborates, “There are many questions asked on a regular basis if there is a possibility of Stage 8 load shedding as you will see from the outlook that possibility is receding, which is comforting and is positive. However, there is of course always an inherent risk and for that purpose we have to protect our reserves, the diesel reserves at our open site gas turbines as well as our storage reserves.”
Eskom’s CEO adds that the Kusile Power Station’s Unit 5 is expected to be synchronised to the grid in July. This will add 700 megawatts to the grid.
He says Unit 4 at the Medupi Power Station is due to return to service in September next year and Unit 1 at Koeberg is expected to be back in June. He adds that he understands the frustrations of South Africans as Eskom subjects them to rolling blackouts.
De Ruyter says they’re hard at work with different stakeholders to improve the electricity crisis.
Eskom appreciates the difficulties experienced by the public because of persistent loadshedding, we are working tirelessly to reduce the amount of loadshedding pic.twitter.com/owFWp9G9Wu
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The Eskom “privatisation” narrative is the wrong approach. Large public service state-owned enterprises should not be “privatised”. Instead PUBLIC participation in the business of Eskom, Transnet, etc. should be increased by broadening the shareholder base and public ownership. pic.twitter.com/0yBQIAAMyc
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He explains, “This is highly regrettable and I can give the country the assurance that the Eskom team is hard at work in collaboration with the national electricity crisis committee as well as with our partners from various government departments to address the issues that have led us to the current situation and to find sustainable solutions going forward.”
Reduced black out stages
Eskom CEO says they will reduce the stages of rolling blackouts this coming week because generation capacity is improving and they have managed to buy enough diesel.