Tuesday, January 18

No load loss during the weekend


Eskom says it plans to lift the current Stage 1 load shedding on Friday night at 9:00 p.m. and will not implement any blackouts over the weekend.

As previously reported, Eskom suspended Stage 2 load shedding at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday night and implemented Stage 1 starting at 5:00 a.m. on Friday morning.

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“We do not anticipate any cargo drop for the weekend, and the outlook for the [following] the week is to not lose load [which will be] driven, among other things, by lower ambient temperatures that reduce our vacuum head losses, ”Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said during a press conference on Friday.

“But that, of course, is subject to the condition that we do not lose important units, which will cause a lack of generation capacity.”

Although South Africans will be able to enjoy a bright weekend, the power company says several of its units went offline overnight. Units include Matimba 1, Tutuka 4, Koeberg 3, and Majuba 2, 5, and 6.

Matimba 1 and Majuba 2 and 6 have since returned to service, however the other units remain unreliable, especially Tutuka 4.

According to De Ruyter, the demand forecast for tonight is 26,747MW at 19:00 and with Stage 1 load shedding in place, the power company should be able to meet it.

Eskom has planned capacity outages amounting to 3,345 megawatts (MW) and is currently facing 14,776 MW of unplanned head losses.

De Ruyter mentioned once again in the briefing that a tower collapsed on one of the main distribution lines at the Lethabo power station on Wednesday night. This resulted in the firing of the line as there were signs of cutting of the strap assemblies.

“The line is of great capacity. It is an 88 KV line and the tie rods that were cut are galvanized steel rods with a diameter of 24 millimeters… they are very resistant rods.

“The perpetrators cut the eight rooms. There are no signs of corrosion. [and] no signs of metal fatigue. There was no shearing of these tie rods and there is clear evidence that there was some shearing incident.

“[There was an] instrument involved, be it a hacksaw or an angle grinder. But what arouses more suspicion that it was a deliberate act of sabotage, [is that] Nothing was stolen from the site, so the straps were cut and the tower was pushed to the other line. ”

De Ruyter went on to call sabotage an economic crime. He insisted that this was an active act of sabotage and should therefore be labeled as such.

Now, the consequences of this happening are, of course, quite significant. This means that if we had lost power to the conveyor belts that fed coal to Lethabo, we would have run out of coal at the power plant for up to six hours. That is the capacity of the bunkers in the plant. This would have caused us to lose our most reliable units at this time, a loss of approximately 3,600MW, ”he said.

De Ruyter added that these acts would have led to a load reduction level higher than stage 6.

He warned the perpetrators that the matter has already been reported to the Hawks and there are talks that he will assist the utility with investigations.

“At this stage we have no indication of who the possible perpetrators might be,” he added.


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