SA economy at the mercy of a conveyor belt

Eskom warned yesterday that a possibility of loadshedding has increased as belt that feeds Medupi units snapped.

During the night of 9 September 2020, a conveyor belt feeding coal into the Medupi generation units failed, increasing the risk of loadshedding. This means the four generation units in service were not able to take in the requisite amount of coal to generate electricity. This put further strain on Eskom’s ability to fully supply electricity over the following 24 hours.  

While Eskom teams were working round the clock to repair the conveyor belt, which was expected to take the better part of the day on 10 September, any further breakdown elsewhere in the generation fleet, would necessitate the implementation of Stage 2 loadshedding at short notice.  

Luckily, for the SA economy, the conveyor belt has subsequently been repaired, and is currently in service, improving Eskom’s capacity to supply electricity.

While no loadshedding is expected in the coming days, Eskom would like to remind the public that the system remains constrained and vulnerable, and should there be any significant breakdowns, loadshedding may have to be implemented at short notice.

Unplanned breakdowns amount to 10 909MW of capacity, adding to the 5 831MW currently out on planned maintenance. Eskom teams are working around the clock to return as many of these generation units to service as possible. Eskom urges the people and businesses of South Africa to continue using electricity sparingly in order to assist Eskom to avoid the implementation of loadshedding.

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