Eskom Announces Continued Suspension of Load Shedding

Friday, 07 June 2024: Eskom has confirmed that load shedding remains suspended for the 72nd consecutive day, reflecting significant strides in the reliability of its generation fleet.

Key Developments and Performance Highlights

Extended Suspension

  • Current Status: Load shedding has been suspended since March, marking the longest period without power cuts since December 2021 to February 2022.

Generation Operational Recovery Plan

  • Strategic Move: The suspension is part of Eskom’s Generation Operational Recovery Plan, which focuses on increased planned maintenance. This strategy has been pivotal in improving the reliability of the generation fleet during the winter months.
  • Maintenance Achievements: From December 2023 to January 2024, the average generation capacity under maintenance was 8,000MW, achieving an 18% maintenance rate.

Winter Forecast and Performance

  • Forecast Insights: The winter forecast, published on April 26, 2024, anticipated unplanned outages of up to 15,500MW with load shedding limited to Stage 2. Eskom’s performance has surpassed these expectations.
  • Current Outages: The average unplanned outages currently stand at 11,300MW, which is 3,000MW less than forecasted.

Key Performance Highlights

  • Reduction in Unplanned Outages: The Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor (UCLF) decreased to 28.0% from April 1 to June 6, 2024, an 8% improvement from the previous year’s 35.7% for the same period.
  • Planned Maintenance: The current planned maintenance of 4,653MW aligns with Eskom’s winter maintenance strategy.
  • Sustained Energy Availability Factor (EAF): The year-to-date EAF increased to 61.1%, an 8% improvement compared to the same period last year.
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Strategic Utilisation of Open-Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs)

  • Lower OCGT Usage: Usage continues to be significantly lower compared to the past two years.
    • Cost and Output: From April 1 to June 6, 2024, Eskom spent R1.71 billion on OCGTs, producing 246.91GWh, about 77% less than the R7.4 billion spent in the same period last year.
    • Recent Figures: From June 1 to June 6, 2024, R0.15 billion was spent on OCGTs, producing 21.89GWh. This is within Eskom’s forecast and budget for the financial year 2025.
    • Load Factor: The OCGT load factor for May 2024 was 2.27%, significantly lower than last year’s 28.22%.

Preventing Network Overloading and Risk to Life

With rising electricity demand and colder temperatures, network overloading and electricity theft pose risks.

  • Electricity Theft Issues: This includes illegal connections, equipment theft, vandalism, and unauthorized operations.
  • Preventive Measures: Eskom urges customers to reduce consumption, ensure legal electricity purchases, and report illegal activities to the Eskom Crime line at 0800 112 722.

Upcoming Updates

Eskom will provide further updates next Friday, June 14, 2024, or immediately communicate any significant changes as they occur.

Original press release can be found on: https://x.com/Eskom_SA/status/1799106915974471889/photo/1

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