Power system remains 'tight and vulnerable' as protests add further strain, says Eskom | Fin24
 
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Power system remains 'tight and vulnerable' as protests add further strain, says Eskom

Nov 27 2018 10:15
Lameez Omarjee and Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

There is low to medium probability of load shedding this week but protest action at the entrance of a coal mine could have a detrimental impact, says state power utility Eskom.

Eskom on Monday night issued a statement indicating that the power system remains "tight and vulnerable".

The power utility is using open-cycle gas turbines and emergency reserves to limit the possibility of load shedding, the statement read.

Eskom highlighted that protest action by employees of Optimum Coal Mine have blockaded a road leading to Hendrina power station, and the entrance to the coal mine.

"Hendrina is one of the 10 power stations with less than 20 days of coal stockpiles at its coal stockyard. Any protracted disturbances could have detrimental impact on the power station," Eskom warned.

The employees are demanding their salaries. They have reportedly not been paid for the month of November.

"The Eskom multidisciplinary teams continue to work tirelessly on the 9-point recovery plan to improve generation and operational performance while also stabilising the system," Eskom said.

Eskom said some power generating units are expected to return to service later in the week but has encouraged consumers to reduce their demand for electricity.

Last week Eskom's acting chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer told Parliament's portfolio committee on public enterprises that the most recent occurrences of load shedding were due to hot weather as well as water and diesel supply constraints.

Oberholzer told the committee that there was no reason for load shedding in the near future if supplies and consumption were kept in check. 

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