Eskom Cancels Plans to Rotate Blackouts in South Africa

Eskom Cancels Plans to Rotate Blackouts in South Africa

South Africa’s power utility canceled plans to start rotating power cuts on Tuesday morning after households and businesses reduced demand, minimizing strain on the grid.

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which provides 95 percent of the country’s electricity, had planned to force 1,000 megawatts of demand off the grid from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. after three substations in Cape Town were vandalized and some unplanned breakdowns curbed supply capacity, it said earlier.

“Electricity demand has decreased significantly since the early warning notification was made,” the Johannesburg-based power utility said on its Twitter account.

Eskom sees a high probability of almost-daily cuts in Africa’s second-biggest economy until April after deferred maintenance led to more plant failures, it said on Jan. 15. The utility had 15 days of rolling blackouts last year, the first since 2008, and began them again on Jan. 9.

The utility is struggling to keep the lights on after the country failed to invest adequately in generation in the 20 years after the first democratic elections in 1994 even as the government expanded supply to an extra 7 million people.

Unit 6 at Eskom’s 3,654-megawatt Tutuka plant had to be taken down because of a tube leak, while unit 6 at the 3,600-megawatt Duvha facility was offline for repairs to its oil cooler, Eskom said.

The first unit at the Koeberg nuclear power plant outside Cape Town, which went down after an earth fault on the generator transformer on Feb. 1, has yet to be returned to service.

“The power system remains constrained and will remain so for the rest of this week,” Eskom said.

Koeberg’s unit 1 will be halted for scheduled refueling and maintenance on Feb. 9, and will return to service at the end of May.

Source: Bloomberg


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