You’re likely already aware that Eskom unceremoniously sent the country into Stage 6 load shedding “until further notice” late on Sunday. Now, the power utility is reviewing its documentation and processes that lay out the plan should we ever hit Stage 8.
During Mondy’s press conference, Eskom CEO André de Ruyter highlighted that, while the risk of Stage 8 load shedding is unavoidable, this review process was not a reason for concern and should not be taken to mean the utility is anticipating or expecting it.
On the contrary, he said the current Stage 6 cuts are likely to reduce to Stage 4, but only by Thursday. But that’s if nothing else goes wrong.
The best-laid plans of Eskom
During Monday’s press conference, De Ruyter said that Eskom had 23,877MW of generation capacity offline – roughly half of the utility’s total installed capacity. That amount is owed to full load losses, partial losses, and losses related to coal constraints.
He also reiterated the necessity for implementing load shedding – to protect the national grid from a total shutdown. The soon-to-be-ex-Eskom CEO assured South Africans that there was a very low possibility of that happening because of the current Stage 6 cuts.
Read More: Load shedding Stage 6: Back like a bad rash
If Eskom and De Ruyter’s plan is carried out successfully, the utility should be able to add enough generating capacity back to the grid to make Stage 4 possible on Thursday. We certainly hope that’s the case, but we wouldn’t bet any money on it.
Multiple breakdowns of generation units across the country sent SA into Stage 6 over the weekend. Arnot, Camden, Hendrina, Lethabo, and Majuba power stations have all suffered the loss of at least one generating unit. Hopefully, some or all of these will return to service by Thursday.