Eskom has advised that load shedding will continue until Friday evening.

“We expect that load shedding, at reduced stages, may continue into the weekend. We are currently utilising emergency generation reserves to supplement supply.

“Some generation units are expected to return to service this evening and tomorrow. This together with reduced weekend demand, will help ease the supply constraints and reduce the stage of load shedding,” Eskom said on Thursday.

Unplanned breakdowns or outages were at 12,640MW as at 16h25 Thursday afternoon and planned maintenance outages are at 4,883MW.

Update on Koeberg Unit 1 trip

On Tuesday, Koeberg Unit 1 was manually tripped by the operators in line with the operator’s procedure.

“The reason for the manual trip was as a result of increasing temperature on the secondary side of the plant due to degraded heat removal (or cooling) capability because the pump that remained in service was supplying a heat exchanger that was degraded and not able to sufficiently remove heat.

“The circulating cooling water system pump that tripped was due to low level in the suction pit as a result of the drum filter that was clogged by an acute ingress of marine life (jellyfish and fish),” Eskom said.

Normally Koeberg units are able to survive a trip of one circulating cooling water system pump. The actions required from the operators are to reduce power below 60% and to ensure that temperatures of various components on the secondary side stabilises.

“In this case, the temperature did not stabilise due to the heat exchanger remaining in service had reduced heat efficiency and was planned for maintenance this week.

“The excess marine life and debris has been cleared off the drum filter and it is back in service. The level in the suction pit has sufficiently recovered and the circulating water system pump has been put back in service and no anomalies have been noted,” Eskom said.

Upon inspection, it was found that the pump had not been damaged as initially feared.

“The required technical assessments and regulatory approvals have been obtained to start-up and safely return the Koeberg Unit 1 back on the grid.

“The current projected synchronisation will take place on Sunday,” Eskom said.

Use electricity wisely

As the ageing fleet is currently constrained, unpredictable and vulnerable, Eskom has advised South Africans that the stage of load shedding may change at short notice should there be any unexpected change in the generation system performance. Demand has also incrementally risen since January.

“It is only through partnership between Eskom and all stakeholders that we may soon emerge from these difficult times.

“We urge every South Africans to co-operate in managing electricity consumption with care to help us minimise load shedding. We thank you for co-operation and understanding so far,” Eskom said.

Customers are requested to continue to use electricity sparingly and to assist Eskom to reduce demand:

  • Keep your morning shower short to lessen the load during morning peak;
  • Take food out of the freezer for dinner and put it in the fridge to thaw. It’ll save you using the microwave to defrost it later;
  • Set air conditioners’ average temperature at 23°;
  • Switch off geysers over peak periods;
  • Unplug that cell phone charger before you leave the house. It uses electricity even if your phone is not plugged in;
  • Use the cold water tap rather than using the geyser every time;
  • Set your swimming pool pump cycle to run twice a day, 3 hours at a time; and
  • At the end of the day, turn off computers, copiers, printers and fax machines at the switch.

“We appeal to customers to their load shedding schedules on the Eskom website, (https://loadshedding.eskom.co.za) or local municipal websites, depending on their electricity supplier, to review amendments,” Eskom said.


Read: Western Cape’s plan to leave load shedding behind