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Eskom Working to Resolve LoadShedding Crisis, Says Minister

by Central News Reporter
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Ramokgopa Addresses Eskom's Transmission Expansion

Eskom

The Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, has reassured citizens that Eskom is taking immediate action to address the Stage 6 loadshedding crisis.

In a media briefing on Friday, the Minister acknowledged the significant setback of Stage 6 load shedding but expressed confidence in the government’s ability to resolve the energy security challenge.

The implementation of Stage 6 load shedding comes as a result of the loss of five generating units over the past 24 hours, the need to replenish emergency reserves, and an increase in demand. Currently, Eskom is facing approximately 14 590 megawatts (MW) of unplanned capacity loss factor (UCLF) and 807MW of vacuum losses, totaling to 15 300MW. While this may seem abnormal, the Minister explained that it is within the range of the winter plan, as reserves were overcommitted to protect the grid.

To address the situation, Eskom is working to return the lost generating units to service and replenish the emergency reserves. The Minister highlighted that the additional capacity provided by these reserves is crucial for ensuring the stability and security of the grid. By not engaging the reserves at a high intensity, Eskom can focus on replenishing them and drawing from the grid instead. This strategy will allow the reserves to perform their important function of protecting the grid in case of extreme occurrences.

To further alleviate the crisis, the Minister announced that additional capacity will be available in the coming weeks. Unit 2 of Kusile is expected to come online by the end of this month, and Unit 5 at Kusile is scheduled to be operational by the third week of December. These additions will provide a much-needed buffer in the system and improve the overall energy security.

Bheki Nxumalo, Eskom Group Executive for Generation, also addressed the increased demand and low reserves that intensified the load shedding stages. Nxumalo stated that the demand had increased by 1 500MW on Friday, further straining the already stretched resources. The units lost during this period included Duvha Unit 4, Majuba Unit 3, and Lethabo Unit 6.

While the current load shedding situation is undoubtedly challenging, the government and Eskom are committed to resolving the crisis and ensuring a stable electricity supply for South Africa. The investment in additional capacity, the plans to replenish emergency reserves, and the efforts to return lost generating units to service all demonstrate the determination to improve the energy security of the country.

 

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