From the news desk

System constrained for foreseeable future: Eskom

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The power system is expected to be very tight over the evening peaks of the next few days, Eskom said on Monday.

“However the risk of load shedding for today and tomorrow is medium to low,” the power utility said in its latest system status bulletin.

“This is owing to steady progress made in building reserves over the weekend to limit the risk of load shedding this week.”

The risk would increase later in the week as water and diesel reserves declined.

Mild and cloudy weather was forecast from Wednesday onwards which would increase electricity demand, putting pressure on the system and increasing the risk for load shedding.

“Eskom calls on all South Africans to pull together over the next few months and use electricity sparingly by ‘Living Lightly’ this summer,” the company said.

Homeowners and businesses could switch off geysers, pool pumps, and non-essential lights, and further, efficiently use air-conditioners by keeping room temperature at 23 degrees.

The public could also respond to alerts on TV each evening.

On Monday, available capacity for evening peak demand was 31,903 megawatts (MW), including open cycle gas turbines (OCGT).

Demand was forecast at 31,491 MW. Current planned maintenance stood at 4091 MW, and unplanned outages were 7481 MW.

Forecast available capacity, including OCGT, and peak demand for the rest of the week:

— Tuesday: 32,050 MW available, demand forecast at 31,268 MW

— Wednesday: 32,028 MW available, demand forecast at 31,321 MW

— Thursday: 32,119 MW available, demand forecast at 31,548 MW

— Friday: 32,005 MW available, demand forecast at 29,649 MW

— Saturday: 31,412 MW available, demand forecast at 29,003 MW

— Sunday: 31,298 MW available, demand forecast at 29,409 MW

“The demand in electricity tends to decrease from Friday, going into the weekend,” Eskom said.

Earlier on Monday, Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger said the electricity supply was expected to be constrained during the week.

“There is no scheduled load shedding at this stage, but the second half of the week is expected to be very tight,” he said.

Eskom’s diesel generators were under pressure because of a lack of fuel.

“Diesel supplies are a concern due to volumes received not meeting our requirements. We are working with suppliers to unlock the constraints,” said Etzinger.

On Sunday, Eskom declared a power emergency with large industrial customers. It also implemented rolling blackouts at the weekend.

Eskom said the power system had experienced an increase in demand as a result of weather conditions and increased load losses as a result of multiple tripping of generating units at the Majuba and Matimba power stations.

The power utility had lost a total of 1700MW of generating power, it said on Sunday.

Etzinger said the risk of blackouts on Monday and Tuesday was medium to low.

“This is owing to steady progress made in building reserves to limit the risk of load shedding next week,” he said. SAPA

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