After a week or so of calm – if you can call Stage 2 ‘calm’ – Eskom is back to its old ways. Stage 4 load shedding has been implemented indefinitely following major breakdowns around the country in the early hours of Friday.
“Breakdowns amounting to 17 056MW of generation capacity, low pumped storage dam levels and lack of diesel are the reasons for the increase in load shedding,” Eskom said.
#LoadsheddingUpdate#Stage4 load shedding was implemented at 05:26 this morning until further notice. Breakdowns amounting to 17 056MW of generation capacity, low pumped storage dam levels and lack of diesel are the reasons for the increase in loadshedding.
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) November 18, 2022
Stage 4 is terminal
Due to the suddenness of the change, Eskom has yet to provide an in-depth explanation of the breakdowns. We can make a pretty good guess that Kusile and Komati power stations are involved… somehow. We’re sure Eskom will eventually post a full statement later in the day.
It’s possible that things could get worse for the month of December. Eskom is preparing to take unit 1 of the Koeberg station offline in December, removing 920MW from the grid. The station is expected to return in mid-2023.
Earlier this week, Eskom warned that several key units are offline, totalling around 3,000MW of energy off the grid. These aren’t expected to return before the end of 2022, with a target date of late 2023 to return these units to power.