Be prepared for ‘load shedding at short notice’, Eskom warns

Be prepared for ‘load shedding at short notice’, Eskom warns

File image.

The struggling utility has been forced to go the expensive route of using water and diesel due to the breakdown of some units.

The “unexpected loss” of some of Eskom’s generation units over the weekend has left the electricity system “severely constrained”, the struggling energy utility said in a statement.

While the statement said load shedding was “not expected”, it also said the “unexpected loss of additional units may result in load shedding at short notice”.

“The system remains vulnerable to a number of variables due to historic factors such as inadequate maintenance as well as ageing of plants.”

The utility said 9,500MW of power was taken out of the grid due to the breakdowns, forcing it to use “emergency resources” – water and diesel – to meet demand.

This follows five days of load shedding in October due to outages at five power generating units.

Also read: Tips to cope with load shedding

At a media briefing last week, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan unveiled government’s highly anticipated Special Paper on Eskom.

The minister detailed how the unbundling of Eskom will work and tried to manage the nation’s expectations on how long it will take to fix the struggling energy utility.

“There is a belief among South Africans that fixing Eskom is like changing a tyre in a car or replacing a bolt in a boiler. We see the fixing of Eskom as a long protracted process,” he said.

Eskom is expected to announce its new CEO in the coming week.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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