The state-owned power utility Eskom has escalated the load-shedding from stage 2 initially implemented on Thursday to stage 4 today. Although 6am on Saturday morning is mentioned on the announcement, it may reportedly be prolonged until the end of the weekend.
“The increase in the load-shedding stage is intended, among other things, to cater for further unplanned trips and to create capacity to replenish water reserves for our pumped storage schemes,” the official statement read.
The severe pressure on the grid along with the unplanned breakdowns and the incessant rain have all contributed to the implementation of this measure. The latest did that by causing serious coal-handling problems at many power plants.
“This could further impact supply as the rainy weather persists. While not expected or planned, further deterioration of plant performance or the emergence of other risks may necessitate invoking further stages of load-shedding,” the officials stated. “If the wet persists, we are likely to implement load-shedding throughout the weekend.”
In the meantime, diesel and water resources are used by Eskom at its open-cycle gas turbines to supplement the capacity and limit the amount of load-shedding.