As South Africa enters day seven of a nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, Eskom has announced that it will double maintenance work at its plants.

“With the Covid-19 national lockdown in full effect, Eskom has experienced a significant reduction in demand for electricity. Electricity usage has dropped by between 7,500MW and 9,000MW since the lockdown came into effect last week. This has allowed Eskom to operate without the need to implement load shedding,” said the power utility.

The utility is making use of the low demand to carry out important short-term maintenance of generation infrastructure. In order to protect the integrity of the system, Eskom has taken some generation units offline.

Koeberg Unit 2 to be taken off grid

From midnight on Friday, 3 April, Eskom will add Koeberg Unit 2 to units taken off the grid. However, these will be able to return to service at short notice, should the need arise. Koeberg Unit 2 is scheduled to return to service by 30 April, if not called before then.

“As part of protecting the integrity of the power system, Eskom has also issued force majeure notices to the wind independent power producers. These notices serve to alert the wind independent power producers (IPPs) of the possibility that Eskom may, from time to time, curtail their supply to the grid during the national lockdown,” the power utility said.

Should this happen, the IPPs will be afforded one day of relief for every day, or part thereof, of lost production.