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Eskom moves to stage 4 after generation units trip

kendal power station south africa

Power utility Eskom has been forced to implement stage 4 loadshedding on Tuesday.

The parastatal issued a sudden change to loadshedding schedule after it said loadshedding would remain at Stage 2 throughout the week.

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Three Kendal generation units tripped, a reason for the upward shift in loadshedding stages.

“Due to sudden loss of three Kendal Power Station generating units this morning, loadshedding has been increased to Stage 4 until 5 am on Thursday.

Loadshedding will be reduced to Stage 2 until midnight on Friday.

On Tuesday morning a conveyor belt feeding coal into Kendal Power Station failed to conserve coal, and lead to a massive reduction of output generators.

“To conserve coal the power output of the generators was reduced but this required fuel oil to be used to sustain the boiler combustion.

This was followed by the failure of a fuel oil plant supplying the units.

“This resulted in the trip of the three generating units. The Kendal units are anticipated to return to service by the weekend.”

Eskom said the breakdowns have resulted in intense usage of the pumped storage schemes and the opening of cycle gas turbines.

“These emergency generation reserves are designed to fill the generation gap,” for this kind of emergency.

The power utility said these circumstances have led to the unfavorable decision to increase stage 2 to stage 4 in order to conserve the emergency reserves.

“We currently have 5 446MW on planned maintenance, while another 16 985 of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.”

Eskom Group Chief Operating Officer, Jan Oberholzer noted during a briefing on Monday how the power utility was maintaining outdated infrastructure.

The challenge was to find a balance between repairs and generating adequate capacity to the country.

Oberholzer elaborated on how lack of adequate skills by some contractors contributed to some delays which led to consumer frustration.

The power utility has been buckling to keep the lights in recent weeks.

Engineers have confirmed that there was still a long road of repairs to implement before consumers can breath a sigh of relief.

Also read: Sabotage, budget, more load shedding, Eskom sheds light

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