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South Africa: Kusile’s Unit 4 Returns to Service

Kusile Power Station’s Unit 4 has returned to service bringing back 800 megawatts, which was taken off during the unit’s 20-day planned maintenance.

Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said this while briefing the media on the implementation of the country’s Energy Action Plan.

The unit came back online on Sunday morning, and will add 800 megawatts to the capacity available and removes 800 megawatts from the planned maintenance of Eskom.

Units 1, 2 and 3 of the power station located in Mpumalanga were put offline due to a flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) mechanism that was damaged in October last year. This affected stacks at the units. He said that these are expected to come online between October and the end of November 2023.

“We’ve been able to shed a month on the return of unit 3 and the expectation is that we should be able to return this unit by 14 October. The same is applicable for unit 1. We should be able to get it on 30 October.

On progress made on unit 2, the Minister said the team initially was of the view that the unit would return on 24 December. However, this has been revised to 30 November 2023.

The Minister reiterated that Kusile is central to addressing the load shedding question, because “we will need significant more additional generating capacity to be able to address this.”

In recent weeks the country has been experiencing various stages of load shedding including Stage 6.

In an update on Sunday afternoon, Eskom said that due to further improvements in generation capacity, Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 4 pm until 4pm on Monday.

Thereafter, Stage 4 load shedding will be implemented from 4pm on Monday until 5 am on Tuesday. This will be followed by Stage 2 load shedding from 5 am until 4 pm.

“This pattern will be repeated daily until further notice,” it said.

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