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Low probability of rotational load shedding during the day; increase for evening period

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World Coal,

There is a low probability of rotational load shedding during the day as a result of power plant units being returned to the system but the probability of rotational load shedding increases for the evening peak period from 5pm to 9pm due to the normal expected increase in demand.

Should rotational load shedding be implemented on 18 June it would be for a period up to four hours. Eskom will advise if rotational load shedding will be conducted in either stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 or stage 4, dependent on the capacity shortage. Stage one requires 1000MW to be rotationally load shed nation-wide, stage 2 requires 2000 MW, stage 3 requires 3000 MW and stage 4 calls for up to 4000 MW to be rotationally load shed nationally in that given period. Load shedding is conducted as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.

While safety of employees remains the top priority, recovery teams at Eskom’s power plants continue to work hard to stabilise the power system and to return its generation plant as quick as possible. Eskom’s prognosis is that the power system will take up to approximately 10 days to recover from the effects of the recent industrial action, once all staff eventually return to work on 18 June.

The estimated 10 day prognosis for full restoration is due to the effects of the industrial action, which interrupted continuous processes at the power plants. These processes have now to be cleared out and restarted, which would take additional time. These include:

  • Coal management and transportation. For example, the inability to transport coal from the company’s coal stockyards to its coal bunkers due to the absence of operating staff. In addition, the already low coal stockpiles at some stations were exacerbated by road closures, as coal delivery had to be suspended.
  • Significant increase in plant outages and a bottleneck in routine maintenance due to the lack of resources to optimally operate the plant, such as ash clearing and mechanical failures that occurred during the period.
  • In addition, Eskom is currently managing diesel levels at its peaking plants at 50% to ensure that sufficient diesel generation is available for emergencies.

Increase in production and full stability can only increase and be achieved with the return of employees. The company will continue to re-assess its prognosis during the week.

Eskom continues to encourage residents and businesses to please use electricity sparingly to ease the demand of electricity. Please switch off geysers during the day especially during peak periods (07:00 to 10:00 and 18:00 to 21:00), as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.

Customers are advised to keep checking their load shedding schedules on the Eskom and its municipal website, and plan on the assumption that load shedding will take place.

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