Eskom has ramped up power cuts to replenish emergency reserves, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa announced on Sunday.
This comes as the state-owned power entity announced implementation of Stage 3 load-shedding from 09:00 on Sunday until 05:00 on Monday to replenish emergency reserves in preparation for the week ahead.
This is because Eskom lost a “cluster” of units from different power stations across the country, amounting to over 2 700 megawatts (MW), shy of three stages of load-shedding.
“And if we had not experienced that, of course, you would not be seeing the kind of intensity of load-shedding that we are experiencing,” Ramokgopa said.
Meanwhile, he added that the return of Units 1 and 3 in Kusile Power Station had been significant.
“As big units return, when you see the kind of cluster of failures that we’ve seen, the intensity of load-shedding is not as acute. Of course, we’re on Stage 3 [load-shedding] and that’s the highest that we have experienced. But what Unit 1 and 3 have done is to create an additional buffer and why it’s important that Unit 2 and 5 also return.”
He said the power utility had been burning very little diesel and preserved that and ensured that it relied on the ability of the units on their own to provide the megawatts that are required.
He is optimistic that five units, including Duvha, Majuba and Lethabo power stations will be back on line on Sunday night.
Unit 1 at Koeberg Power Station was successfully synchronised to the grid on Saturday, after almost a year.
Eskom said the outage was the longest in the power station’s history, during which the original three steam generators had been successfully replaced.
Once Unit 1 is considered stable, Unit 2 will be taken offline to have its steam generators replaced.
“We expect the second synchronisation to happen on December 2 and 3. And then that's when I'm sure that we will be able to take out Unit 2 for the kind of attention that is required so that we're able to meet the licensing requirements,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za