Load shedding should ease with better diesel supplies and Kusile unit reignited
Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said in his weekly briefing on Sunday that he expected the rolling blackouts burden to lessen.
Your life may be a little easier this week.
At the weekend, Eskom gave South Africans a short reprieve from rotating power cuts on Saturday and reduced load shedding to Stage 3 for the weekend after a crushing week of cuts that skirted Stage 7. Eskom’s head of generation, Bheki Nxumalo, said that diesel suppliers had run out in the week but expected new consignments from 18 September, which will allow the firing up of the open-cycle gas turbines again.
Kusile holds the key.
Sunday, 17 September 2023:
Due to further improvement in generation capacity, Stage 2 loadshedding (previously communicated Stage 3 loadshedding) will be implemented from 16:00 today until 16:00 on Monday.
Thereafter, Stage 4 loadshedding will be…
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) September 17, 2023
Between September and December, 4,000MW should be generated by Kusile, which has been shut down for significant repairs. That is about four stages of load shedding that should be eased by the end of the year, potentially making for happier holidays. Unit 4 was returned to service on Saturday, returning 800MW to the grid. Unit 3 is expected to operate more than a month earlier (by 14 October 2023 – 800MW); Unit 1 (by 30 October – 800MW); Unit 2 (by November – 800MW) and Unit 5 (by December 30-800MW; two months late).
Daily Maverick’s Onke Ngcuka visited Kusile with Ramokgopa on Monday, 11 September – this is her report.
Load shedding is expected to abate by the end of 2024. Ramokgopa says Eskom will soon release its summer schedule, establishing a basis to plan for the next six months. There will be more planned maintenance outages, but also more electricity from Kusile. He said that Stage 6 cost the economy R1-billion a day and that the government’s priority is to reach greater energy security, or there would not be economic growth.
Presidency spokesperson Rudi Dicks said the Cabinet had agreed that energy security may slow down the decommissioning of certain coal-fired power stations. However, South Africa remained committed to meeting its nationally determined contributions to reducing the national carbon footprint. DM