Eskom: Loadshedding A Last Resort To Avoid Total Blackout

Eskom said in a statement on Sunday morning that it wants to remind South Africans that loadshedding is a last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.

Although the power system still remains constrained and vulnerable, Eskom does not expect to implement loadshedding on Sunday.

It cautioned, however, that any change in the situation could indeed lead to loadshedding at short notice. For example, additional unplanned breakdowns or the unavailability of diesel for our open cycle gas turbines or water levels at pumped storage schemes, could result in loadshedding at short notice.

This happened on Thursday evening, for example, when Eskom had to suddenly implement stage 2 loadshedding from 22:00 until 05:00 on Friday morning. Since then no loadshedding needed to be implemented.

According to Eskom, some progress has been made in replenishing diesel for open cycle gas turbines and improving water levels for pumped storage schemes. However, given that unplanned breakdowns are above 10 500 MW the probability of loadshedding remains, but will only be implemented if absolutely necessary.

The Emergency Response Command Centre continues to monitor the system and will be in a position to give a prognosis, for the week ahead, during the course of tomorrow.
Fin24 reported earlier that, after some of Eskom’s generating units failed over last weekend, power supply was running dangerously low by Wednesday morning.

Unplanned outages above 9 500 MW mean Eskom has to resort to emergency power generation by using open cycle gas turbines and pumped-storage hydroelectric plants.

These are very expensive ways of generating power, particularly the gas turbines, which require large quantities of diesel.