Improvement in curbing unplanned outages extends loadshedding free run for 39 days in South Africa

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  • South Africa’s state owned energy utility, Eskom, has announced that following the suspension for 39 consecutive days, loadshedding remains suspended until further notice due to ongoing sustained improvements in generation performance.
  • Over the past few weeks, there has been a consistent and significant improvement in curbing unplanned outages – technically known as the Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor (UCLF)—due to the success of the Generation Operational Recovery plan which commenced in March 2023.

The unplanned outages are on a downward trajectory and are better compared to the same period last year. From 26 April 2024 to date, unplanned outages have reduced by close to 4 400MW from 15 523MW to 11 036MW. There has been no increased usage in the Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) for the period of the first week of May in relation to the last reported figures during the System Update on 26 April 2024.

For the comparative period last year, unplanned outages increased from 16 882MW to 18 198MW. The reduction in unplanned outages as observed recently continues to have a positive impact on the energy availability factor (EAF). The EAF has been above 60% since 29 April 2024 and reached the 65% mark on 01 May 2024. The year-to-date (YTD) performance is currently at 58.99%, which is a notable improvement from the 53% EAF in the same period last year.

As the reliability of the generation fleet improves, opportunistic windows are taken for some short-term maintenance, given the recent excess supply in relation to demand, which will further benefit our operational recovery as we get into the winter period.

Eskom expresses gratitude to all its employees for their commitment, and special appreciation goes to the Power Station General Managers and their teams who are working diligently to ensure the recovery of additional generating capacity by bringing units from unplanned outages and planned maintenance back into service as soon as possible. A total of 2 600MW is expected to be returned to service by Monday.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Source: Eskom


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