Eskom regrets escalation of loadshedding to Stage 6

System remains under severe pressure, with loss of Kusile units still being felt

Eskom is working around the clock to avoid higher stages of loadshedding

14 April 2023

Eskom regrets the escalation of loadshedding to Stage 6 but would like to assure all South Africans that our personnel at the various power stations are working around the clock to bring units back online and at higher efficiencies as soon as possible. It is to be noted that loadshedding is implemented as a last resort to maintain the stability of the national power system.

Apart from other Generation challenges, the current situation is exacerbated by the loss of four major units which are on extended outages. Units 1, 2 and 3 of Kusile Power Station are currently offline as a result of the failure of the Unit 1 flue gas duct on 22 October 2022. Work is underway to bring these units back online from November 2023.

Unit 1 at Koeberg Power Station is currently on a long-term outage for maintenance and refuelling as well as the replacement of the steam generators and is expected to return to service on 6 August 2023. The unavailability of the three units at Kusile and the unit at Koeberg 1 has removed 3 080MW of capacity from the grid. This is equivalent to 3 stages of loadshedding.

Eskom continues to drive generation recovery initiatives which are aimed at preventing the current performance from deteriorating in the short term and improving the overall performance of the generation fleet in the long-term. The root causes of the persistent plant breakdowns will also be addressed through the Generation Recovery Programme. There have been some improvements recently, including several power stations achieving an energy availability of 70% in March as well as the suspension of loadshedding on some days. Certainly, Eskom does not want to implement loadshedding if at all possible.

The power system however, remains under severe pressure and there is a high possibility that loadshedding will continue to be implemented at varying stages. The cold front expected this weekend is anticipated to further increase the demand for electricity, adding to the capacity constraints, especially at evening peak hours from 17:00 until 21:00. This can be alleviated if all consumers switch off heating and high consumption appliances during the peak hours.

Eskom will continue to provide regular updates on the power system through the various communication platforms.

We thank those South Africans who do heed the call to use electric sparingly and help to alleviate the pressure on the power system.

Issued by Eskom Media Desk, 14 April 2023