Eskom Koeberg Nuclear plant Power Station

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Paul Scott

Load shedding to continue despite Eskom infrastructure success

Is the recovery of three major power units enough to stave off the misery of load shedding? The short answer is a resounding “nope”.

Eskom Koeberg Nuclear plant Power Station

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Paul Scott

With load shedding back with a vengeance, Eskom have delivered some good news for a change. On Monday 13 July, they said that they have managed to successfully return the Koeberg power station’s Unit 2 to operational service, adding that they have also registered successes in bringing units at the Majuba and Lethabo power stations back online. 

The embattled state-owned power supplier said that these efforts will help relieve some of the pressure currently burdening the national electricity grid, but conceded that it won’t be enough to prevent load shedding continuing on Tuesday. 

Load shedding to continue on Tuesday 14 July  

Load shedding has returned to South Africa in earnest, at the worst possible time as cold weather and COVID-19 lockdown regulations simultaneously condemn citizens to a generally pervasive sense of discomfort.  

Eskom said in a statement on Monday evening that they have made significant progress in their efforts to return the grid to stability, but that more conservation of power will be required. 

“This afternoon Unit 2 of the Koeberg power station, which had been on cold reserve since April 2020, was successfully synchronised into the grid to help relieve some of the pressure on the generation system,” they said. “A generation unit at the Majuba and Lethabo power stations have also returned to service this afternoon.”

“This, however, is still not sufficient enable Eskom to suspend load shedding.”

They announced that load shedding will continue on Tuesday 14 July.

“Eskom will therefore continue implementing Stage 2 load shedding until 22:00, after which it will be suspended for the night. In order to limit the impact of load shedding on the morning traffic peak, Eskom will start implementing Stage 2 load shedding from 9:00 tomorrow.”

Eskom urges residents to use electricity sparingly 

The embattled parastatal said that the current measures heaping misery on South Africans is the “last resort” in a bid to maintain a steady supply of electricity, and blamed some of the pressure burdening the grid on the loss of the now operational stations. 

“Eskom wishes to assure the public that implementing load shedding is the last resort, in order to protect the national grid,” they said. 

“This loss added to breakdowns at the Kriel and the Medupi power stations because of difficulties experienced during startup”

They insisted that they are doing everything they can to remedy the situation, but pleaded with residents to use electricity sparingly. 

“Eskom teams are working around the clock to return as many generation units as possible. The colder weather also means demand for electricity has risen significantly.”

“We therefore urge the public to continue assisting us in managing consumption in order to reduce the impact of the supply constraints.”