The phase 2 load shedding will be implemented on Thursday August 13, following a dramatic drop in Eskom’s power generation capacity.
As South Africans feed their hopes news of lighter lock restrictions and a reopening of the economy after nearly five months of lockdown, Eskom’s operational instability still poses a significant risk to the country’s economic outlook.
On Wednesday evening, Eskom revealed that it was hit by a wave of malfunctions and delays affecting at least seven generation units. According to the besieged electricity supplier, repairs to five power-generating units had taken longer than expected, coinciding with the shutdown of two other power plants.
Eskom: “Severely constrained system”
Eskom noted that an increase in demand, coupled with the numerous blackouts, had forced the country into another period of rotational load shedding in order to save the power grid from a complete meltdown. Eskom added:
“These outages added to the approximately 5,000 MW of non-scheduled maintenance capacity, while unplanned maintenance increased to almost 11,000 MW. The constrained system can persist for the rest of the week. “
Eskom further begged South Africans to use electricity sparingly as the utility tries to get the electric units back on the grid.
Shedding on Thursday August 13, 2020
Eskom announced that the phase 2 offload would last from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, August 13, but warned that the deteriorating situation could justify more ferocious cuts in rotation. Eskom explained:
“The delay in returning two units to service at Duvha and Tutuka and the failures of four units at Kriel, Tutuka and Kendal have resulted in the need for load shedding today. These units removed more than 2,000 MW of capacity from the system. Eskom is working hard to put so many of these production units back into service.
The plant continues to operate at low reliability levels, any unexpected changes such as an increase in unplanned outages could result in a change in the load shedding stage in the short term.
There is a good chance that the load shedding from step 2 will move to step 3 for the peak of the evening. “
Eskom’s latest offloading schedule comes at the most inappropriate time for South Africans, as the country attempts to restart the gears of production and economic growth after months of lockdown-induced dormancy.