Eskom system is in trouble due to unplanned breakdowns

Eskom appeals to the public to reduce electricity consumption as the generation system is severely constrained.

“We have unexpectedly lost four large units to unplanned breakdowns, while the return to service of another two generation units have been delayed,” the company said in a statement.

Yesterday, the breakdowns happened to a unit at Kendal, Majuba and Lethabo power stations. Furthermore, a unit at Duvha and Tutuka power stations, have not returned to service as expected. A further Kendal unit was taken off due to technical difficulties and to address emissions.

While some generation units were returned to service last night, breakdowns occurred at a further two generation units today. 

“Our teams are working hard to return to service the two units that tripped today at Medupi and Matimba power stations, adding to the breakdowns and taking off a unit to deal with emissions requirements at Kendal, Majuba and Lethabo yesterday,” Eskom said in the follow-up statement.

“While the system remains constrained, we hope to avoid loadshedding, with the help of the people of South Africa. 

“We urge the public to use electricity sparingly by switching off non-essential appliances in order to maintain the integrity of the system. With your assistance yesterday, we successfully managed to meet the peak demand, and for that we thank the public.

Eskom has 31 000MW available total capacity to meet demand. While the company expects some units to return to service soon, this situation may persist until the weekend.

Eskom Management urges the public to reduce consumption by switching off non-essential appliances in order to maintain the integrity of the system.

South Africa is currently experiencing its worst energy crisis, when Load Shedding Stage 6 activated for the first time ever in December. Eskom stated that of its total nominal capacity of around 44,000 MW, it was unable to provide around 13,000 MW of total capacity, resulting in the nationwide blackouts.

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