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Load shedding times extended by Eskom

Load shedding has been extended and will last from 5am throughout the day until Friday.

This after Eskom reported shortages in generation capacity following higher demand and breakdowns at some of its power stations.

At least 15 040MW is unavailable due to breakdowns with a further 2 931MW out on planned maintenance.

“Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented at 5am to 4pm [today]. Load shedding will then be increased to Stage 4 during the evening peak period of 4pm to midnight. It is anticipated that Stage 2 will be implemented at 5am to midnight on Friday.

“The delay in returning a generation unit to service each at Arnot, Koeberg and the Kusile power stations, as well as the unplanned breakdowns of a generation unit each at Camden, Grootvlei, Lethabo, Majuba, Medupi and two units at Hendrina power stations, have exacerbated the capacity constraints,” Eskom said.

The power utility added that it anticipates that the load shedding will also “assist in recovering emergency generation reserves, which have been utilised extensively to meet the increased demand over the last few days”.

According to Eskom, some generation units are expected to return to the grid during the next few days.

“While the return of Unit 2 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station is anticipated for Friday night, should there be further delays, or other unit breakdowns, load shedding might have to be extended into the weekend. Eskom will promptly communicate any further significant changes,” Eskom said.

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Meanwhile, the power utility said repairs to the Seboka Substation – which supplies electricity to at least eight areas in Sebokeng – are continuing following vandalism to the substation last month.

As a result of the damage, the substation had to be shutdown to prevent further damage.

“The shutdown…was implemented to protect the transformer from…catching fire which could cause an explosion since the control room had been vandalised, panel wiring and protection cables were cut, which created a major risk to the transformer as its protection was compromised.

“Eskom strongly condemns the continuous theft and vandalism of its equipment that is taking place across Gauteng. There has been an increase in incidents of theft and vandalism resulting in the loss of revenue and increased replacement costs for Eskom.

“These criminal acts do not only affect the power utility, but they inconvenience law abiding, paying customers and also affect community service points such as healthcare facilities, education facilities, businesses and the economy at large affect,” Eskom said.

The power utility estimates that repairs will be complete by next Monday which will be followed by full restoration of power supply to those areas.

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