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Eskom still on track to suspend load shedding on Friday morning, but warns of possible load shedding next week

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Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter said the power utility would use the low demand weekend as an opportunity to conduct much-needed maintenance and to address some risk on running units.

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POWER utility Eskom, which announced Stage 2 load shedding this week, said it is still on track to suspend load shedding on Friday morning as announced earlier, however, the power system remains fragile.

In a media briefing on Thursday morning, Eskom’s CEO Andre de Ruyter warned that load shedding may take pace again next week.

“The power system remains fragile and while that holds, Eskom will continue with the current instance of load shedding as previously communicated, which will be suspended at 5am on Friday,” he said.

The planned suspension of load shedding is due, in part, to the lower demand expected over the weekend.

However, the power utility said there remains a possibility that load shedding will need to be implemented during next week as the demand returns.

Over the past 24 hours, a unit each at the Kusile and Kendal power stations tripped. The Kusile unit was returned to service on Thursday morning, together with one of the previously delayed Camden power station units.

De Ruyter said the power utility would use the low demand weekend as an opportunity to conduct much-needed maintenance and to address some risk on running units.

During the weekend, Eskom is also expected to release some water into the river system from the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme in order to relieve the capacity constraints that have been created by the heavy rains.

“This will be done in a responsible manner in collaboration with the authorities. We currently have 6,042MW on planned maintenance, while another 14,471MW of capacity is unavailable due to unplanned breakdowns,” De Ruyter said.

He warned that any further deterioration in generation capacity may require further load shedding.

“We therefore request the public to continue using electricity sparingly, particularly over the long weekend to assist in replenishing the emergency generation reserves in anticipation of the coming week.

“Eskom would like to apologise for the implementation of load shedding and reiterate that load shedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid. We will communicate should there be any significant changes to the supply situation,” the power utility added.

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