[UPDATED] Eskom imposes Stage 6 loadshedding “until further notice”

  • Eskom has implemented Stage 6 rotational power cuts after seven of its generating units broke down on Tuesday.
  • South Africans will now be under Stage 6 from 16:00 until 05:00, thereafter they will be under Stage 4 loadshedding.
  • This pattern of outages will repeat every day until further notice.

*Update: Eskom has imposed continuous Stage 6 loadshedding as of 15:00 on Wednesday as 11 of its generation units are offline. There will be no Stage 4 during the evenings.

Original article below:

South Africans were only given an hour to prepare for Stage 6 loadshedding on Tuesday evening. Eskom abruptly announced heightened levels of power cuts after seven of its generating units failed, the power utility said.

Stage 6 will see regions of the country without electricity for around eight hours at different times of the day.

This marks the first time Stage 6 will have to be implemented in 2023, 10 days into the year. Stage 6 loadshedding was last implemented throughout December, before the Christmas holidays and year-end festivities brought about lower levels of outages.

According to the utility, South Africa will now be between Stage 6 and Stage 4 loadshedding at different times of the day, owing to waxing and waning energy demand. As such, Stage 6 will now be implemented from 16:00 to 05:00 every day, thereupon Stage 4 will be implemented from 05:00 to 16:00.

The utility says this will be taking place “until further notice.”

Seven generating units tripped on Tuesday, while three were returned to service the same day, leaving four still inoperable. The return to service of three other units has been delayed.

Eskom also shut down Unit 1 of the Matla Power Station in order for repairs to be made to fix a boiler tube leak.

The heightened level of loadshedding at this juncture could be due to the ongoing repairs at Koeberg Unit 1, which usually contributes about 1 000MW to the country’s grid. Translating to a single loadshedding stage worth of power.

Koeberg is Africa’s only nuclear power station and Eskom’s best-run plant. If Unit 1 were operational at this juncture, loadshedding would only be around Stage 5 or Stage 4. Eskom says the generating unit will be disconnected for the next six months, and then Koeberg Unit 2 will be disconnected for another six months.

This means that South Africans won’t be able to enjoy the support of both Koeberg units at least until next year.

And with most of the government’s plan to end loadshedding only set to be active from 2024 onwards, the probability is high at this point that 2023 will have the most loadshedding in the country’s history.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]


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