A wet and long winter for Eskom

A wet and long winter for Eskom

2014-05-11 20:26

Johannesburg - Eskom is not getting a handle on the problem of power plants breaking down, said power expert Chris Yelland, according to City Press.

Eskom’s basic rule is that unplanned outages should total at most 10% (4 000MW) of capacity, while planned maintenance should also amount to at most 10%.

So far this year, unplanned outages are taking out on average 4 882MW and go up to 6 000MW.

That is still much better than the average in the first five months last year, which was 5 800MW.

But unlike last year, the planned maintenance this year is more extensive than the power lost to breakdowns.

Last year, the planned outages averaged almost exactly the 4 000MW target before winter. This year, they average 5 500MW.

According to Yelland, the fact that unplanned outages still spike to 6 000MW is “a very bad sign”.

Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger said the 10% rule about planned and unplanned outages is seasonal.

In winter, the planned maintenance should fall to about 5% (2 000MW), while going as high as 6 000MW in summer, as it has this year.

The far tighter system this year is the result of catching up on maintenance before winter forces Eskom to produce all it can.

But this still results in a lower reserve margin – the buffer before power emergencies and load shedding.

Adding to the power utility’s problems this winter is the fact that it will not be able to eliminate demand to the same extent as last year.

The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) has refused to allow Eskom to charge power users for the expense of its controversial buy-backs from smelters.

According to Yelland, Eskom is being “disingenuous” about this.

Nersa did not ban the mechanism for reducing demand, it only ruled Eskom cannot have the cost recouped through tariffs, he said.

Read the full article on City Press.

  • Brian Heunis - 2014-05-11 20:33

    But lets rather upgrade our HQ.

      Sheik Mohammad - 2014-05-11 23:41

      Glad you said HQ, because upgrading their IQ is an impossible task.

      Revelgen - 2014-05-12 11:01

      How much longer do SA voters have to struggle on, voting purely on racial lines, before they realise that the ANC is a truly incompetent government? Perhaps 'incompetent' wouldn't be too dreadfully bad in itself, but when one adds in 'massive corruption' as well, all South Africans suffer badly. The bottom line is that the poor are being robbed daily by ANC corruption, and thus are getting far worse service delivery than they would if a competent (multiracial) government was in place. Roll on 2019.

  • BatongaBoro - 2014-05-11 20:46

    there is no such thing as "unplanned outages". it is called "incompetence"

  • maraisl - 2014-05-11 20:54

    And so the post election blackouts will begin. South Africans are suckers for punishment. Hahaha

  • Ria Cook - 2014-05-11 21:27

    ANC - "a better life for all"

  • Ryan Styles - 2014-05-11 22:02

    5 more years. 5 more years.....

      Mike Heyns - 2014-05-11 22:16

      @Ryan: I hear you my friend, but I do not believe the taxpayer will be able to survive another 5 years!!

      Sheik Mohammad - 2014-05-11 23:43

      They get what they vote for.

  • Mike Heyns - 2014-05-11 22:08

    Yip, election is over and nothing will change (again)! anc, sorry Eksdom gets a nice increase, and we back to load-shedding! Nothing learned (except massive increases) over the past 20 years! Tomorrow they will start with e-tolls again and oh yes, Zummaville development is commencing! As I said, nothing changes!!

      Sheik Mohammad - 2014-05-11 23:48

      E-toll tariffs go up soon, but because the ANC couldn't afford losing Gauteng they didn't put the e-toll story.

  • Julian Pretorius - 2014-05-11 23:12

    why are you not working for them.....perhaps you can do better

      Revelgen - 2014-05-12 11:04

      Hey Julian Pretorius, the problem DIRECTLY stems from the ANC's hopelessly incompetent forward planning. They are not fit to govern a modern country. And it's not about race, it's about competence.

  • Malcolm du Plessis - 2014-05-12 18:39

    The people who have voted for the government has never build anything in their lives. They not used to this luxury so that is why they don't care if they don't have electricity. They are used to gas stove and candles, but yet they still want control of the country and the economics.

  • Jaco Lambrechts - 2014-05-15 13:48

    STOP applying affirmative action in ESKOM. That will EASILY solve the problems.

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