Eskom warns power system remains 'severely constrained and vulnerable'

Despite the power system continuing to remain "severely constrained and vulnerable", and no loadshedding is expected for Wednesday evening, according to Eskom.  

However, the possibility of loadshedding remains, it said in a statement issued during the early evening.

It foresees that the likelihood for loadshedding is low for Thursday. Fin24 reported earlier that, after some of Eskom's generating units failed over the weekend, power supply was running dangerously low by Wednesday morning.

Eskom is battling an electricity shortfall of 12 000 MW due to these breakdowns as well as unplanned maintenance.

Unplanned outages above 9 500 MW mean Eskom has to resort to emergency power generation by using open cycle gas turbines and pumped-storage hydroelectric plants.

These are very expensive ways of generating power, particularly the gas turbines, which require large quantities of diesel. They can only be used for short periods before diesel and water reserves start running out.

Eskom said the Emergency Response Command Centre will continue to monitor the system and to implement contingencies to avoid or minimise loadshedding this week.

It said a concerted effort is being made to return units from planned and unplanned breakdowns and to replenish emergency reserves.