South Africa: Load Shedding Pushed to Stage 3

The loss of at least five generation units has led to the implementation of load shedding from Stage 2 to Stage 3, starting on Friday afternoon.

This is according to a statement released by Eskom.

The State-owned power utility said the increased load shedding will last until 5am on Monday morning and will be followed thereafter by a reduction to stage two for the rest of next week.

“Since this morning, three generation units at Tutuka Power Stations, as well as two Kusile Power Station generating units tripped, necessitating the escalation in the load shedding. The delay in the return to service of Koeberg Unit 2 has exacerbated the capacity shortages,” Eskom said.

Earlier this week, Eskom announced that Koeberg’s Unit 2 had tripped from full power “during the routine testing of the control rod system” with efforts already underway to bring it back to service.

On Friday, the national electricity company said the increased load shedding will assist in recovery.

“The additional load shedding tonight is required to manage and recover the emergency generation reserves which have been utilised extensively over the past five days. Eskom therefore urges all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly,” the statement read.

Eskom said during this coming few days, maintenance will also be carried out on certain power stations.

At least 4 588MW of capacity is already out on planned maintenance, while another 17 131MW is unavailable due to breakdowns.

“During this weekend, critical planned maintenance at Hydro de Cahorra Bassa in Mozambique, Lethabo, Majuba, Matimba and Camden power stations will be carried out in preparation for the week ahead,” Eskom said.

A media briefing on these developments and the state of South Africa’s power system is expected to be held on Monday.

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