Eskom warns of 101 days of load shedding

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Planned outages were at 5 787 MW, with unplanned outages at 15 147 MW, an improvement from about 15 600 MW on Tuesday.

THERE can be as many as 101 days of load shedding this winter, in the “extreme case”, according to an Eskom official.

Eskom on Tuesday provided an update on the state of the power system, this after load shedding escalated to Stage 4 in the morning due to failing generating units.

In its assessments for the winter period, Eskom expects between 37 and 101 days of load shedding, said group head of transmission, Segomoco Scheppers. The 101 days is “far in the extreme” scenario, he added.

Eskom has to contain unplanned breakdowns below 12 500 MW to avoid load shedding entirely.

Planned maintenance has taken out over 5 000 MW of capacity. However, unplanned losses are in excess of 15 600 MW. Eskom chief executive André de Ruyter said this is “unacceptably high” and has led to the implementation of Stage 4 load shedding to manage demand and avoid a total blackout.

The heavy rains over the Easter weekend were not in Eskom’s favour. It contributed to wet coal which is difficult to handle. It tends to stick and causes blockages at units leading to load losses, he explained. – news24.com

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