Electricity minister: electricity generation improving as unit 3 at Kusile returns to service

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  • South Africa’s Electricity Minister, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, said that Kusile Unit 3 returned to service ahead of schedule and added that South Africa was “starting to turn the corner” in terms of electricity provision.

The three units at the Kusile plant were discontinued in October 2022 for maintenance purposes. This strained the national grid and affected Eskom’s generating capacity. Speaking at his weekly media briefing in Pretoria on Sunday, Ramokgopa said they had to discontinue the units to address safety concerns.

“It’s been almost a year that these units have not been operating. Essentially, the South African economy and the grid were losing about 2 400 megawatts of generating capacity… and that contributed to a significant amount of strain that has been experienced on the grid,” Ramokgopa said.

Ramokgopa said Kusile Unit 3 now currently generates 550MW, and that it will take a considerable amount of time to restore normality, with the other units expected to return on-stream in due course.

“I am really excited to say that we will be returning the other units, with 2 400 megawatts,” Ramokgopa said.

This is eventually expected to be bumped up to 3 200MW when Unit 5 is brought back on-stream. Ramokgopa said he is confident about the work that is currently being done

Eskom reported on Friday that due to the sustained improved performance of generation availability as well as the anticipated lower demand over the weekend, loadshedding will be suspended between 05:00 and 16:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Stage 2 loadshedding will be implemented from 16:00 until 05:00 on both Saturday and Sunday. Today, as previously communicated, Stage 3 loadshedding will continue to be implemented from 16:00 until 05:00 on Saturday. Eskom will closely monitor the power system and communicate any change to loadshedding should it be required.

Breakdowns are currently at 14 266MW of generating capacity while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 5 388MW.

A generating unit each at Arnot, Duvha, Ingula and Vanderkloof power stations was taken offline for repairs on Friday while a generating unit at Hendrina Power Station was returned to service.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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