Eskom regrets the escalation of loadshedding to Stage 6 as Unit 2 at Koeberg nuclear plant trips

  • Eskom regrets the escalation of loadshedding to Stage 6 but would like to assure all South Africans that our personnel at the various power stations are working around the clock to bring units back online and at higher efficiencies as soon as possible. 
  • It is to be noted that loadshedding is implemented as a last resort to maintain the stability of the national power system. 
  • Eskom also confirmed that Unit 2 at Koeberg nuclear power station in Cape Town tripped yesterday and is out of service. 
  • “Following the tripping of unit 2 at Koeberg Power Station this morning, Stage 6 loadshedding will be implemented from 16:00 this afternoon until further notice”, said Eskom in a statement. 
  • No further details have been provided.
  • The nuclear power station has two 930MW units, both of which are now out of service as Unit 1 is offline for a life extension programme which includes generator replacement. Read more

Apart from other Generation challenges, the current situation is exacerbated by the loss of four major units which are on extended outages. Units 1, 2 and 3 of Kusile Power Station are currently offline as a result of the failure of the Unit 1 flue gas duct on 22 October 2022. Work is underway to bring these units back online from November 2023. Unit 1 at Koeberg Power Station is currently on a long-term outage for maintenance and refuelling as well as the replacement of the steam generators and is expected to return to service on 6 August 2023. The unavailability of the three units at Kusile and the unit at Koeberg 1 has removed 3 080MW of capacity from the grid. This is equivalent to 3 stages of loadshedding.

Related news: Turbine trips at Koeberg nuclear plant 

Eskom continues to drive generation recovery initiatives which are aimed at preventing the current performance from deteriorating in the short term and improving the overall performance of the generation fleet in the long-term. The root causes of the persistent plant breakdowns will also be addressed through the Generation Recovery Programme. There have been some improvements recently, including several power stations achieving an energy availability of 70% in March as well as the suspension of loadshedding on some days. Certainly, Eskom does not want to implement loadshedding if at all possible.

Related news: Koeberg nuclear plant life extension must shift to safe, permanent shutdown

Eskom explains that the power system however, remains under severe pressure and there is a high possibility that loadshedding will continue to be implemented at varying stages. The cold front expected this weekend is anticipated to further increase the demand for electricity, adding to the capacity constraints, especially at evening peak hours from 17:00 until 21:00. This can be alleviated if all consumers switch off heating and high consumption appliances during the peak hours.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Leave A Reply

About Author

Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

Copyright Green Building Africa 2024.