A secuity guard patrols the entrance to Eskom's Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. File photo: THE TIMES/ALON SKUY
A secuity guard patrols the entrance to Eskom's Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. File photo: THE TIMES/ALON SKUY

Eskom ramped up load-shedding to stage 4 from stage 2 at 2pm on Friday, and the rolling blackouts will continue into the weekend.

“Stage 4 load-shedding will be implemented from 2pm today until 5am on Saturday morning,” Eskom said in a statement. “Thereafter, stage 2 load-shedding will be implemented from 5am on Saturday until 5am on Monday.”

The power utility earlier said units at the Lethabo and Majuba power stations were delayed in returning to service.  It had implemented stage 2 power cuts from 11am.

“A unit at Tutuka power station tripped. Three Kendal units were taken off and it is anticipated that the fourth and remaining unit will also be shut down. The conveyor belts supplying these units are not running due to a power fault.”

Eskom said no coal was reaching the station.

“Stage 4 load-shedding is necessary to stop the use of OCGT [open cycle gas turbine] generators to preserve the remaining fuel at these power stations, which is critically low. There is insufficient diesel available in the country to continue generating with the OCGTs at the current rate,” said the power utility.

“It is anticipated that some generating units will return to service later today and overnight, allowing a reduction to stage 2 load-shedding for the remainder of the weekend. Stage 2 load-shedding is necessary to replenish emergency generation reserves, particularly at the pump storage schemes for the week ahead.”

Total breakdowns now amount to 17,437MW, while planned maintenance was 4,361MW of capacity.

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