Eskom warns of high risk of blackouts
fin24 - Jan 10th 2012, 09:13
Cape Town - Eskom has warned of a "very high" risk of rolling blackouts around the country, but was doing everything it could to avert it.
"We are working very closely with our large customers to see if they can reduce their load... but the risk is very high. We are doing our utmost to avoid it," spokesperson Hilary Joffe said on Monday.
Power outages were a possibility because of planned maintenance, an increase in unplanned maintenance and an ever increasing demand for power.
"Summer is always a time when we do maintenance and take advantage of lower demand. The maintenance is more this year than previous years as we are tackling a backlog.
"We are experiencing quite a lot of unplanned maintenance. We are not getting performance from our generating plants. There are also quite a lot of technical problems which are cutting supply further."
Joffe said demand for power had increased as people returned to work, forcing Eskom to use emergency power reserves.
She urged people to find ways to reduce their electricity usage.
The Cape Chamber of Commerce said on Monday that although it appreciated the notice given by Eskom, the possibility of rolling blackouts was unacceptable.
"Eskom advised us shortly after noon today [Monday] that there was a possibility of load shedding in various parts of the country, including the Western Cape, from tonight and lasting through to February," chamber president Michael Bagraim said.
"Basic scenario planning should be in place. For the country's power supply to possibly be prejudiced in this way, at this time, and this economic climate is just not acceptable."
Bagraim said the government kept demanding that businesses increased jobs, but this was only possible if they could operate in the first place.
Joffe warned the country's power supply would be tight until the completion of its two power stations, Medupi and Kusile. Kusile, being built in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, was expected to add 4800 megawatts to the power grid on completion in 2017.
The Medupi power station in Lephalale, Limpopo, would add another 4800 megawatts of coal-powered energy. It was expected to be completed by 2015, although Eskom had warned there could be a delay due to problems with a boiler contractor.
due to problems with a boiler contractor.
Meanwhile the AIM news agency has reported that South Africa has asked Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi river in western Mozambique, to increase its power supply quota.
Zimbabwe has also asked for its quota to be increased. Zambia, Malawi and Swaziland had all expressed a desire to buy electricity from HCB.
Mozambique's publicly owned electricity company Electricidade de Moambique (EDM) meanwhile had asked for its quota to be increased from 400 to 500 megawatts.
HCB chairperson Paulo Muxanga was quoted by AIM as saying that increasing EDM's quota would mean negotiating with one of HCB’s other major clients, such as Eskom or Zimbabwe's Zesa, to reduce their quota.
The Cahora Bassa dam’s maximum generating capacity is 2075 megawatts - five turbines, each capable of producing 415 megawatts.
Value Group slips amid weak economic growth
19/10/2017 - 08:38
Supply chain and logistics company Value Group says weak economic growth has hurt first-half revenue.
SA road freight industry undergoing ‘tech disruption'
30/03/2017 - 15:26
Transparent pricing and improved competitiveness welcomed.
How Uber plans to disrupt SA's delivery industry
03/10/2016 - 11:26
Food delivery app UberEATS launched on Wednesday and the company behind the ride-sharing app is confident the service will disrupt the food industry, and possibly other sectors as well.
Optimising the supply chain for sustainable business growth
06/09/2016 - 15:44
When looking ahead at the various business challenges facing South African companies, particularly with regards to sustainability, it is useful to look back and briefly chart the most significant changes and trends. In the late eighties and early nineties, we witnessed the emergence of the 'one world' economy - which coincided with the arrival of the internet and rapid digital transformation. The resulting changes triggered quantum leaps in global trade and duly affected national and regional economics, politics and business practices.
Retailers scramble to work around Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy
05/09/2016 - 09:31
Retailers are working to minimize the fallout from the bankruptcy of South Korea's Hanjin Shipping, the world’s seventh-largest ocean shipper by capacity, the National Retail Federation said Thursday.