Electricity Minister quiet as blackouts upped to stage 6 in South Africa

  • South Africa’s state owned and state run energy utility, Eskom, reports the loss of additional generating units overnight, the extensive use of Open Gas Cycle Turbines and the inability to replenish pumped storage dam levels.
  • As a result, Stage 4 loadshedding will be implemented at 07:00 this morning until 14:00.
  • Thereafter, Stage 6 loadshedding will be implemented from 14:00 today until 05:00 on Thursday.
  • This pattern will be repeated daily until further notice.
  • South Africa’s electricity has not commented on the latest announcement from Eskom. 

South Africa’s Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, announced on Sunday night that the country’s electricity generation capacity continues to show signs of improvement and stabilisation. He was speaking during his weekly media briefing on progress made regarding the implementation of the Energy Action Plan.

Outlining the generation performance for period 3 -7 July 2023, the Minister said that Eskom has been able to maintain the increased energy availability of more than 60% resulting in lower levels of load shedding.

“The progress we’re making is tribute to the fact that we’ve stayed the course. We’ve received a number of criticism, arguing that government doesn’t have a plan and our consistent message was that we have a plan and we are going to deliver against that plan. We have been able to maintain the trend line, we are approximating that 60% energy availability factor. In megawatts terms, you can see the running average for the week is about 28 272,” Ramokgopa said.

In a statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 5 July 2023, the South African government welcomed the improvement in Eskom’s Energy Availability Factor, which is now closer to 70%, they said.

In reality, Eskom’s’ week-on-week energy availability factor (EAF) reports that it is nowhere near 70% or 60%. According to Eskom’s own EAF reports, they achieved 58.31% for Week 26, 2023, with year-to-date EAF of 53.77% (down from 59.35% for same period in 2022). This has been verified by respected energy analyst, Chris Yelland.

Image credit: Eskom

Related news: Electricity Minister and parliament short circuits Eskom generation reporting

Breakdowns have increased to 16 313MW of generating capacity while the generating capacity out of service for planned maintenance is reduced to 3 478MW. Over the past 24 hours, a generating unit each at Arnot, Matla and Medupi power stations was returned to service.

In the same period, a generating unit at Matla and two generating units at Kriel power stations were taken out of service due to breakdowns. The delays in returning to service a generating unit at Kendal and two generating units at Tutuka power stations are contributing to the current capacity constraints.

Eskom’s twitter account reports the following:

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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