- South Africa will switch to Stage 5 loadshedding at 16:00 on Tuesday, until 05:00 on Wednesday when it will go to Stage 4.
- Eskom’s latest announcement indicates that breakdowns and delays have removed more than 18 000MW of power from the grid.
- Last week, the utility told South Africans to brace for Stage 8 loadshedding if similar breakdowns occured.
In a span of less than 24 hours, South Africa’s power utility suffered breakdowns of multiple generating units across four of its power stations, and has steadily increased the stages of loadshedding until settling into rotating Stage 5 and Stage 4, as of time of writing.
According to an announcement posted to Twitter, Eskom says that Stage 5 would begin at 16:00 on Tuesday afternoon, and would last until 05:00 on Wednesday morning. This pattern would then be repeated until further notice.
It said that in a 24-hour period, generating units at Arnot, Camden, Tutuka, and two units at Kriel were taken offline due to breakdowns, which has spurred heightened blackouts. Especially when taking into accounts that Eskom has been delayed in returning units at Arnot, Kriel, Lethabo, Matla, Tutuka and Hendrina power stations to service.
Additionally, generating units at the crucial Kusile power station, among the largest power stations on Earth, also remain offline.
Eskom has only made a difference by bringing five units online. “Over the past 24 hours, a generating unit each at Duvha, Kriel, Majuba, Medupi and Tutuka power stations were returned to service,” it said in its announcement.
Current breakdowns have taken 18 177MW of electricity from the energy grid. Eskom said last week that if breakdowns reached this level in the months of June, July and August it would be forced to implement Stage 8 loadshedding – 12 hours out of a day without electricity.
The country’s power grid and electricity supply remain constrained with the winter months looking to be the darkest in recent memory, in terms of outages.
To aid Eskom in its loadshedding troubles, government granted permission for Turkish energy firm Karpowership to install three electricity-generating vessels off the coast of the country. While the vessels are yet to begin generating power, combined they could eliminate a single stage of loadshedding.
However, the cost for the 20-year contract government established with the firm could reach R500 million or more, according to some analysts.