Embattled power utility Eskom has warned of a move to stage 3 loadshedding or higher should it continue to see further breakdowns in its coal fleets.
In a media briefing on Wednesday, Eskom chief executive officer (CEO) Andre de Ruyter said the power utility it is battling with an ‘unstable and unpredictable’ power system which had led to the extended load shedding.
The embattled power utility plans to implement stage 2 loadshedding until midnight on Wednesday, and between 05:00 and midnight every day from Thursday to Sunday. Jan Oberholzer says the cold conditions is exacerbating the load shedding crisis as more people use electricity during this time.
“Prior to Monday this week, we managed to prevent load shedding for three weeks. However, this was only possible by using extensively our open cycle gas turbines as well as our dams during the day.
“In winter we experience high morning peak demand and high evening peak demand, should we continue to experience breakdown in the fleet. This unfortunately may escalate to a stage 3 or even higher loadshedding, and this is what we are trying to avoid,” said Oberholzer.
“We are experiencing colder temperatures as the second cold front hit Gauteng today. These cold fronts have a double impact on electricity demand of the country. This then requires Eskom generators to generate more and supply additional generation. Unfortunately, we have to shed load during the day.”