Koeberg unit 2 failure leads to stage 6 load shedding in South Africa

South Africa’s power crisis has taken a turn for the worse amidst severe load shedding returning as a result of the tripping of Unit 2 at the Koeberg Power Station.

All-day stage 6 load shedding has now been enforced which extends the blackout to six hours at a time, with many areas left without electricity for days. This news is alarming as the country approaches the bleak winter months, when electricity demand is set to skyrocket.

Eskom said it could not yet confirm the cause of the trip, but engineers are currently working to isolate the issue. Officials will only be able to provide a more detailed report as the investigations are still ongoing.

The Koeberg power station is currently without any generating capacity, since the station’s Unit 1 is undergoing life-extension maintenance. The Eskom spokesperson said the unit’s issue will worsen the already congested power grid and put it under more severe pressure.

Energy experts are warning that if Eskom cannot meet the lower-speed summer demands, things will get worse with the arrival of colder weather.

South Africa’s energy supply and demand ratio is typically 27,000MW/32,000MW during summer and is expected to jump to 27,000MW/37,000MW during the winter. If there isn’t an urgent improvement in power generation, or a cut in demand, South Africa risks experiencing stage 10 load shedding.

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As the public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has stated that the Eskom suffers from a struggle to reliably produce 23,000MW of energy, the power deficit gap could widen further.

Eskom has apologised to the citizens of South Africa for the persistent power outages and affirmed its commitment to fixing the issues at hand. Outages and long-term losses of key units are only worsening the crises, as Units 1, 2, and 3 at Kusile Power Station are also offline after a failure in Unit 1’s flue gas duct. The group is currently working towards getting the units back online later this year from November 2023.

The South African system operator (SASOL) has warned that it expects more unplanned outages throughout the winter, and the current grid status will remain until further notice.

Load Shedding Schedule South Africa

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