HIGHER load shedding or face power station COLLAPSE

HIGHER load shedding or face power station COLLAPSE Images: Stock/Canva

HIGHER load shedding or face power station COLLAPSE

A group of experts spent five months in the SA, and here is what they found. Could we be facing higher stages of load shedding?

HIGHER load shedding or face power station COLLAPSE

HIGHER load shedding or face power station COLLAPSE Images: Stock/Canva

In a 600-page report commissioned by the National Treasury, critical issues affecting the performance of the country’s power stations have been highlighted. 

HIGER LOAD SHEDDING OR FACE POWER STATION COLLAPSE

The independent analysis provides a highly technical perspective on the challenges these essential facilities face.

The VGBE Consortium comprised experts from companies including Dornier, KWS, RWE, and Steag – each boasting formidable experience in power generation. 

The VGBE Consortium has delivered a stark ultimatum to the government. Following a five-month investigation, during which they visited each power station and held discussions with Eskom officials, the experts have recommended immediate action.

THE TEAM OF EXPERTS SPEND FIVE MONTHS IN SA

The report emphasises the urgent need to address the underlying issues at power stations, even if it means accepting a higher risk of load shedding. 

The experts warned that failure to break the negative cycle could lead to further deterioration of power plants and result in significant losses in generation capacity.

The delegation’s recommendations come in response to the pressing crisis facing the country’s energy sector. 

THEY VISITED EACH POWER STATION AND HELD DISCUSSIONS WITH ESKOM OFFICIALS

Despite the potential short-term inconvenience of increased load shedding, the experts argue that prioritising comprehensive repairs and maintenance is crucial to preventing more severe disruptions in the future.

According to the report, the plants have been forced to continue operating at the expense of their technical condition. 

The consequences are reflected in the high number of incidents, trips and partial load losses (PLL). 

THE CYCLE HAS NOW GAINED SO MUCH MOMENTUM THAT IT COULD LEAD TO THE COLLAPSE OF PLANTS

In a shocking revelation, the report furthermore states that the cycle has now gained so much momentum that it could lead to the collapse of plants or further capacity losses. 

“It must be stopped immediately by executing proper maintenance and outage work – even if this means a higher level of load shedding for a limited period of time.”

the report said.

Partial load losses refers to the electricity generation capacity lost on any unit due to faults that are causing it to operate at less-than-optimal capacity.

‘EVEN IF THIS MEANS A HIGHER LEVELE OF LOAD SHEDDING FOR A LIMITED CAPACITY’

Across the fleet of 14 coal-fired power stations, nearly 6 000 megawatts of generation capacity is not available due to partial load losses, the report reveals.

The government now faces a critical decision as it grapples with balancing short-term energy supply challenges against the long-term stability of the power grid.