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Phase 2 load shedding continues until 5 a.m. Saturday

Controversial electricity company Eskom has announced that phase 2 load shedding will continue until 5 a.m. Saturday.

The energy company released an update on the current challenges the system faces on Tuesday.

Eskom implemented phase 2 load shedding on Monday.

Multiple generator unit failures

The power company said there were multiple outages at the production unit in the past 24 hours.

“One unit at the Matla, Kendal, Matimba, Kusile and Grootvlei power plants each went down, while a unit at the Arnot and Hendrina power plants was forced to shut down. This, in addition to other units that had failed over the weekend, reduced available generation capacity, forcing Eskom to rely heavily on emergency generation reserves to keep the lights on.”

Eskom said Medupi Unit 3 also broke down, forcing the load shedding to be extended.

During a virtual meeting on Tuesday, Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said the power company had to use 17 Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) on Sunday, which hampered its ability to replenish energy reserves.

“Kusile 4 and I must say the Kusile 4 is a non-commercial unit was also shut down for most of the day for essentially capacity and commissioning testing. Kusile supported the system with approximately 600 MW during the week.”

Oberholzer said that while some generators are expected to come back online, the outlook for the week is bleak.

“Due to the unreliability and unpredictability of the generators and to avoid the need for a higher phase load shedding, we regret to inform the public that we will continue with phase 2 load shedding until 5am on Saturday morning the 12e of March.”

Oberholzer has apologized for the difficult situation and the negative impact it is having on South Africa’s people and economy.

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