Feb 7, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

eThekwini load-shedding exemption ‘will change soon’, warns De Ruyter

Eskom says the load shedding exemption for eThekwini municipality, which was hit by devastating floods last month, may soon be changed as this is under review.

“eThekwini municipality is up and running almost resumed in terms of distribution in the regions affected by the floods. No load shedding will be performed, but that will change soon and the teams, Eskom and the eThekwini community are reviewing the situation,” said Eskom spokesman Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter announced on Monday an update on the state of the system and the challenges the utility is facing.

De Ruyter said there was a significant lack of capacity to meet demand for the evening peaks and as a consequence the outlook is aimed at load level 3 – The shutdown is scheduled to take place on Mondays and Tuesdays from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

“We have 2,094 MW for planned maintenance work. The total unplanned losses are 16,307 MW, which is a very high number if we expect demand for evening peaks,” he said.

De Ruyter said power demand has developed into a typical winter pattern.< /p>

“It’s just a limitation that we have during peak periods. During the day we can handle the demand. We are aware that the impact on the domestic consumer is particularly pronounced after 5pm and that is very unfortunate,” he said.

He said the overall performance was quite disappointing.

“This is us testing measures to improve the performance of our generation plants. The performance is not acceptable and we cannot continue to shed load, especially not at the current level.

“Our reserves seem to be in reasonable shape, but we have to keep in mind that we have to be at the top increase our peak demand by burning diesel on our open-cycle gas turbines. We have another ship that will dock at Saldanha on May 24th, so we need to manage our diesel supplies very carefully to ensure we don’t lose our emergency reserves.

“Our dams look healthy, ours Reserves are also in reasonable condition, but it is the full load losses that we are seeing across the generation fleet that are hampering us and making it very difficult to meet demand.”

Jan Oberholzer, COO of Eskom , said while the outlook on Monday’s implementation of Level 3 load shedding read, “It may increase if there are more outages. Tomorrow we’re planning stage 3 and then stage 2 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.”

He also addressed the need to burn diesel to turn on the lights.

” Ours external stock for Cape Town is approximately 12 million litres. We burn 2 million liters a day. It’s a significant burn and for the month so far we’ve already burned 40 million liters so we have to be careful not to run out of diesel,” he said.

Interim Group Leader for Generation Rhulani Mathebula said the system be volatile.

“We experienced a number of bugs over the weekend that led to the situation we are facing. Boiler tube leaks remain our main concern in terms of our outages and cause the generators to take time to be returned. We are refocusing on this by re-examining our strategies and our root causes to ensure we can stem this general trend of boiler tube leaks, particularly at large stations like Majuba and Lethabo,” he said.

< em>Support independent journalism by subscribing to The Sunday Times. Only 20 R for the first month.