Prolonged load-shedding for about six months!


Prolonged load-shedding will continue to be implemented over the next few months as major capital projects and repairs reduce available generation capacity
Tuesday, 15 November 2022: Starting over the next few weeks, Eskom will embark on some major capital investment projects and major repairs that carry significant risk and that will serve to further increase the implementation of load-shedding. These risk factors will remove more than 2 300MW of generating capacity from the system. Eskom cautions the public to anticipate the increased risk of load-shedding until these problems are resolved over the next six to 12 months.
Of serious concern is the high levels of unplanned outages, which contributed to the 155 days of load-shedding experienced since January. To limit the stages of load-shedding, Eskom had to heavily rely on the extensive use of open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs), burning millions of litres of diesel.
“Due to the vulnerability and unpredictability of the power system, coupled with the major capital projects, maintenance and major repairs to be executed starting during the next few months, the risk of continued load–shedding remains quite high,” said Jan Oberholzer, Eskom Group Chief Operating Officer.
On 08 December 2022 Unit 1 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, which has enjoyed 384 days of uninterrupted supply today, will be shut down for normal maintenance and refuelling, and the replacement of the three Steam Generators (SGR) as part of the long-term operation to extend the operating life of Africa’s only nuclear power station.
The most reliable of Eskom’s generation machines, the unit is anticipated to return to service during June 2023. This will remove 920MW of generation capacity from the national grid during this time.
Koeberg Unit 2 was returned to service after a forced shutdown to remedy the control rod slippage issue and has been operating for 51 days today.
The 23 October 2022 duct (chimney) structural collapse that has shut down Unit 1 of the Kusile Power Station; and the decision to delay the return to service of Units 2 and 3 as a precautionary measure, has inflicted another serious blow to Eskom’s efforts to improve the availability of electricity generation capacity and to reduce the implementation of load-shedding.
This loss of the Kusile units has added additional strain to an already constrained generation system. Unit 4 is the only one currently on load at Kusile.
The extent of the damage to the Kusile duct system will be established over the next few weeks as investigations into the structural failure pick up speed. The investigations into the duct failure will also establish whether there is any risk to Unit 3 of Kusile, whose chimney is also housed in the same stack as the other two units. This will determine whether it can be returned to service. Unit 3 was online at the time of the duct failure and continued generating at a steady pace for a week.
What can be said with certainty at this point is that returning the Kusile units to service is still at least a few months away.

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