1 minute read
5 Nov 2014
4:09 pm

Power system tight but manageable – Eskom

The power system was tight but manageable with no rolling blackouts expected, Eskom said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO. Power lines are seen at sunset over Industria West, Johannesburg. Picture: Michel Bega

“No load shedding [is] expected as things stand,” spokesman Andrew Etzinger said.

“We are taking this week one day at a time, so no guarantees for tomorrow at this stage.”

A coal storage silo which stored over 10,000 tons of coal at the Majuba power station in Mpumalanga collapsed on Saturday, affecting coal supplies to all six units at the power station.

On Tuesday, trade union Solidarity said the silo had been showing signs of stress since January and Eskom had done nothing to correct the problem.

Etzinger said the silo was inspected last year.

Before the collapse, Majuba supplied 3600MW, roughly 10 percent of the country’s electricity capacity, Etzinger said on Sunday.

Its capacity was reduced to 1800MW and then to 600MW. According to Eskom this had since been increased to 1200MW.

Eskom warned the collapse could cause rolling blackouts across the country.

Democratic Alliance MP Natasha Michael said on Tuesday it had been widely reported that Eskom used wet coal.

This posed a serious danger as the wet coal caused a chemical reaction that placed extra pressure on a silo, she said.

“It is very plausible that the collapse of the silo, and the resulting national rolling blackout, was caused by negligence on the part of Eskom. This possibility needs to be thoroughly and transparently investigated.”