Load-shedding schedule change — what to expect the rest of the week

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Eskom CEO André de Ruyter says that the power utility hopes to suspend stage 2 load-shedding tonight at 21:00, and resume with stage 1 load-shedding at 05:00 on Friday morning.

Eskom aims to suspend load-shedding from 21:00 on Friday.

Speaking in an online briefing to the media, De Ruyter said that stage 2 load-shedding would be lifted from 21:00 on Thursday to give South Africans a respite from the rotational power cuts during the evening.

“At this point in time, the outlook for the rest of the weekend is quite stable as long as nothing else goes awry,” De Ruyter said.

Eskom implemented stage 2 load-shedding from 14:00 on Wednesday due to a shortage of capacity brought on by multiple units tripping or being taken offline for boiler tube leak repairs.

It originally anticipated stage 2 would be required until 05:00 on Saturday, to preserve the remaining emergency reserves at its open-cycle gas turbines (OCGT) and pump storage power stations and prevent higher stages of load-shedding.

Andre de Ruyter
André de Ruyter, Eskom CEO

De Ruyter said that unplanned full losses were at 8,900MW and partial losses stood at 4,901MW for a total of 13,991MW in breakdowns. Planned maintenance was at 3,910MW of capacity.

He stated the revised schedule would be subject to several units returning to service in the next few days after repairs are completed, including Mathimba Unit 2, Mathla Unit 6, and Tutuka Unit 4.

He added Eskom might be able to get by without having to implement load-shedding without the Tutuka unit.

Another statement will be issued to confirm the new schedule before 16:00 on Thursday.

De Ruyter said that a forensic investigation would be launched into a “coincidental” incident in which three units at Mathimba tripped after a maintenance team dropped an extension cord onto one of the units’ transformers, resulting in a trip in the units’ cooling systems.

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