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Eskom confirms Stage 6 load-shedding to be implemented from 16:00 to 22:00

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Eskom has confirmed that it will implement Stage 6 load-shedding from 16:00 to 22:00.

Stage 4 load-shedding will be implemented from 22:00 to midnight tonight and again from 05:00 until 16:00 on Wednesday.

Stage 6 load-shedding will then resume until 22:00 on Wednesday night.

Eskom has only once before had to implement Stage 6 load-shedding.

On Tuesday morning, Eskom had warned that it may have to implement Stage 6 load-shedding from this evening, following a deterioration in its generation capacity overnight.
COO Jan Oberholzer noted in a media briefing on Tuesday morning that there was a significant risk that the utility may have to implement Stage 6 load-shedding, although Eskom would do what it could to avoid that.

He added that ten generating units were lost overnight on Monday. Two of these units had been returned to service by Tuesday morning.

Eskom had planned to return a further four units to service ahead of the evening peak, but was only able to return one more unit to service by Tuesday afternoon.

Oberholzer said a further four units would not be able to return to service on Tuesday as they require prolonged repairs.

But, Oberholzer said, Eskom may have no choice but to implement Stage 6 load-shedding.
Units that had previously broken down could also not be returned to service, as a result of a lack of operators needed at those units.

CEO André de Ruyter further pointed out that the utility was already using about two-million litres of diesel a day to keep its Ankerlig and Gourikwa open-cycle gas turbines running, with Eskom having used 85-million litres of diesel so far in June.
Oberholzer noted that diesel volumes were being depleted “at an alarming rate”, especially at Ankerlig.

With diesel supplies dwindling, a vessel delivering additional fuel for Ankerlig is only expected to reach South Africa at the weekend.

Eskom’s already constrained electricity supply is being exacerbated by industrial action at various power plants, with a number of Eskom’s power stations being run by managerial staff at present.

Oberholzer and De Ruyter commended those employees who have continued to work long hours to keep the power stations operational under the circumstances.

They also urged striking employees to consider the impact of the unlawful and illegal strike action on the country’s population, as well as the economy, and to return to work.

They also condemned acts of intimidation, arson and public violence committed by some of the striking employees.

Discussions with labour were continuing, but Oberholzer warned that, even if the situation was resolved, recovery of the operations would take some time.

De Ruyter added that, as staff have had to be diverted from doing maintenance to keeping power plants running, the backlog in maintenance was also growing.

The maintenance backlog would, therefore, increase as long as the strike continued, resulting in a prolonged risk of load-shedding.

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