Deterioration of generation capacity is affecting Eskom’s systems: De Ruyter

Deterioration of generation capacity is affecting Eskom’s systems: De Ruyter

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has outlined the power utility’s system challenges, saying there has been another deterioration of generation capacity.

Eskom escalated rolling blackouts to Stage 4 this morning after the Majuba and Tutuka Units reportedly tripped.

The country was placed on Stage 2 power cuts since Sunday after a two-day reprieve.

Speaking in a virtual media briefing, De Ruyter says, “Eskom regrettably had to implement Stage 4 loadshedding due to a significant shortfall in generation capacity which we were unable to recover over the weekend. This is a very disappointing performance by generation and we are doing our utmost to recover from that. We did not have as good an Easter weekend as we would have liked. The heavy rains did not assist. We have been experiencing, at certain power stations, issues with coal that has become too wet to handle.”

No blackouts in eThekwini 

Eskom has confirmed that it will not implement Stage 4 rolling blackouts across eThekwini in KwaZulu Natal.

Group Executive for Distribution Monde Bala says the arrangement it has with the eThekwini municipality will remain, following the flood disaster.

“We are not load shedding in eThekwini at the moment largely because the amount of load that is currently out is almost equal to what is required from load shedding. So the arrangement we have with them is that we will not loadshed.”

Independent power

Eskom has called for an acceleration of efforts to allow Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to provide additional capacity to the grid.

“We do believe that there is about 200 megawatts of capacity that can be added from existing IPPs which they have available from time to time. They are contractually limited from feeding that into the grid. We would urge the IPP office to accelerate its efforts to enable to contracts to be amended to add that capacity to the grid.”

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town said in February that it will it’s go ahead with the procurement of further energy supply IPPs as Eskom reintroduces rolling blackouts.

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis expressed the urgent need for more energy supply.

In a statement, Hill-Lewis says: “It has become clear to the City of Cape Town that if we wish to halt the damage caused by Eskom’s monopoly over electricity generation, we have to take matters into our own hands. The only way for us to provide reliable and affordable electricity to our residents is to source it from elsewhere.”

The Cape Town mayor also highlighted the implications of the rolling blackouts.

“It should never be forgotten that any load shedding comes at a significant cost for South Africans.”

“Load shedding means real businesses failing. Load-shedding means jobs being lost. Load-shedding makes the possibility of meaningful economic recovery ever more remote,” he added.

In the video below, Energy Expert Matthew Cruise outlines IPP options:

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