Eskom expects most of its units to come back to operation by Thursday

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Eskom says it expects most of its units to come back into operation by Thursday evening before the rolling blackouts are suspended. Eskom implemented stage 4 of rolling blackouts after its Majuba Unit 5 and Tutuka Unit 4 tripped.

The power utility says the cold weather and persistent rain from the past long weekend saw increased demand and disrupted its planned maintenance schedule.  South Africa has had a total of 65 days of blackouts for the current financial year.

Group Executive for Generation at Eskom, Phillip Dukashe says, “We had communicated last week the number of units that were at risk, they were around 10 000.  We needed to take some units off in order to work on them. But on a consistent basis the demand was much higher than what the forecast was and as a result we’re not able to send some of those units out for maintenance. Some of those units have now taken themselves off, a number of plant risks that we’re dealing with.  The other thing is rain. The persistence rain, that we had. So, we will be in a better situation roundabout Thursday evening.”

Independent Power Producers

Eskom has called for an acceleration of efforts to allow Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to provide additional capacity to the grid. The country was placed on Stage 2 power cuts since Sunday, after a two-day reprieve.

Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter was speaking in a virtual media briefing.

“We do believe that there is about 200 megawatts of capacity that can be added from existing IPPs which they have available from time to time. They are contractually limited from feeding that into the grid. We would urge the IPPs office to accelerate its efforts to enable to contracts to be amended to add that capacity to the grid. “

Eskom briefing on blackouts: 

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for a State of Disaster to be declared at Eskom due to, what it says, is the power utility’s failure to prevent rolling blackouts.

DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises Ghaleb Cachalia says, “The failure of Eskom to provide electricity affordably and availably to all of South Africans is a major concern. The DA has repeatedly called for high-level action to address this. We are now calling for a State of Disaster around Eskom to be declared. Enough is enough. The country needs to be saved. Without electricity, our economy and people are doomed. This is not a call of doom. It is a statement of fact.”