Load shedding returns as Eskom runs out of coal

Eskom instituted Stage One load shedding across South Africa yesterday as the power supplier is running out of coal.

Load shedding is only applied if totally necessary and the following times are a guideline for the rest of November.

According to Eskom’s loadshedding schedule, the power to Kouga towns will be affected as follows today if load shedding continues in stage one:

St Francis Bay/Oyster Bay/Cape SF – None
Patensie – None
Humansdorp – 17:00 – 19:30
Hankey – 17:00 – 19:30
Loerie – 17:00 – 19:30
Jeffreys Bay – 19:00 – 21:30
Thornhill – Nelson Mandela Bay schedule

The current crises is due to dwindling coal supplies at Eskom.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe yesterday said the entity had initiated “another urgent coal purchasing project” from both current and non-Eskom coal suppliers.

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“Some of the current suppliers with capacity have offered additional coal. Eskom is also awaiting further alternative coal offers from its current suppliers.

Identification of non-Eskom suppliers with capacity is under way and once finalised, Eskom will follow due governance processes for urgent procurement internally and with the National Treasury,” Phasiwe said.

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These stations reportedly have less than 20 days’ of coal currently, contravening the South African Grid Code which requires the entity to maintain stock levels at an average of 20 days.

“The low coal stock level at 11 power stations presents a significant coal handling risk between the power station’s coal stock yards and the boilers. The risk of load shedding is always there, the difference is how we manage it.

“With the rainy season now in force, the power stations have implemented additional coal treatment plans such as compacting four to five days of coal stock to keep it dry for use in the event of continuous rains,” Phasiwe said.

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