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No load-shedding until May, says Eskom head

Posted on Nov 23 by

Eskom has been congratulated for alleviating load-shedding, but demand for electricity has dropped dramatically since the start of the year. It is likely there will be no load-shedding until at least May 2016, Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe said on Wednesday. While maintenance on Eskom’s ageing fleet has been increased, the power utility has managed to stave off implementing load-shedding for more than 80 days. “We are doing all that maintenance without load-shedding,” Molefe said. “We will step up our maintenance in December as everyone goes on holiday. We will add quite a lot of units to the maintenance programme to catch up on backlog. “We do not anticipate load-shedding until at least the 30th of April,” he said, adding that Eskom was working on overcoming the maintenance backlog ahead of the winter season. “We know when those problems will occur, so we know when to put plans in place.” Molefe told Parliament that Eskom was celebrating 50 days of no load-shedding and 87 days where only two and a half hours of load-shedding took place. “After July, load reductions...


Load shedding highlights cloud benefits

Posted on Sep 29 by

SA’s power problems present compelling reasons for companies to move to the cloud, says Itumeleng Kobedi, product manager of Group Cloud Services at MTN. “Many South African companies have been slow to move to the cloud, citing concerns around data sovereignty, security, control of data and even business continuity,” says Itumeleng Kobedi, product manager of Group Cloud Services at MTN. But the wave of load shedding, which shows no signs of ending in the foreseeable future, underlines the fact that there are even greater risks to data and businesses if they do notmove to the cloud, says Kobedi. “Most companies are dependent on a combination of Eskom power, UPS and generators to keep running,” he points out. “But as we have discovered, these are all fallible. Typically, when load shedding occurs, the UPS kicks in for a short period, then the business falls back on a generator. Not only is diesel for running generators becoming increasingly costly, but generators themselves can fail. Few companies have several of them in place in case of emergency. MTN has invested heavily in...


A summer without load shedding?

Posted on Sep 9 by

By Marianne Merten and Anna Cox Johannesburg – Eskom has just celebrated 30 days of no load shedding and, if there are no major breakdowns at any of the stations, this could continue through summer. “We can continue with no load shedding if the public and businesses assist us. We will be undergoing major maintenance work in the coming months, but we have proved that despite this, we can still do it,” said spokesman Khulu Phasiwe. However, Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown said while the energy supply situation was improving, “it doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods”, and Eskom should be given space to do the necessary maintenance. On Friday, Eskom interim chief executive Brian Molefe said the tight slotting of blocks of planned maintenance alongside unexpected plant failures and blocks of steady supplies were paying off. He said Eskom’s teams of “young engineers” were successfully managing a live system, logging what’s available, triggering recalculations and decisions on bringing additional power on to the grid. Thus on September 2, when in addition to planned maintenance taking 4 608MW...


Big drop in SA electricity production

Posted on Sep 7 by

Electricity generated by South Africa dropped by 3.3% for July compared to the same period last year, Statistics South Africa said on Thursday. Electricity generated by South Africa dropped by 3.3% for July compared to the same period last year, Statistics South Africa said on Thursday. The total volume of electricity distributed in SA for the month of July has decreased progressively from 21 119 GWh in 2013 to 19 994 GWh in 2015. Stats SA conducts a monthly survey of the electricity industry to measure the volume of electricity units distributed. The drastic implementation of load shedding since the beginning of 2015 has hit the SA economy hard. The country’s gross domestic product contracted by 1.3% in the second quarter of 2015, a statistic economists say was directly linked to load shedding. Despite a slight year-on-year upward trend from -3.5% in May to -1.7% in June, electricity generation plunged to -3.3% for July. Manager of industry statistics for Stats SA Nicolai Claassen told Fin24 that the consumption of electricity is ‘correlated’ with its production. “Electricity demand generally drives...


No load-shedding for 25 days: Eskom

Posted on Sep 7 by

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom announced on Thursday that they have been able to supply the country’s electricity needs and do maintenance without implementing load-shedding for the past 25 days. “We are implementing our maintenance plan to increase the reliability of our plant, which will in turn increase our operating reserves and stabilise the grid,” the power utility said in a statement. Eskom said that they did not anticipate any load-shedding on Thursday as the power system was currently stable. “However, the system remains vulnerable, meaning that any extra load or faults in the system may necessitate the need to implement load-shedding.” Eskom appealed to all their customers to continue to reduce their electricity usage throughout the day but to be aware of the need to save more during the peak periods from 6am to 10am and 5pm to 9pm. Source...


Medupi: Eskom’s R105bn project

Posted on Sep 4 by

Lephalale – President Jacob Zuma opened South Africa’s first new power plant in 20 years on Sunday with a warning that the country’s perennial energy shortages were hampering economic growth. Construction on the six-unit, 4 764 MW Medupi plant near Lephalale, about 350km north of Johannesburg, was started in 2007 but the first 794 megawatts (MW) only came online this week after delays due to strikes, technical issues and cost overruns. The state-owned power utility Eskom meanwhile is facing its worst crisis as it struggles to stem power shortages. “Shortage of energy does not only cause enormous inconvenience, it is a serious impediment to economic growth. Today, I am here to say, there is light,” Zuma said on Sunday. Medupi’s Unit 6 brings Eskom’s installed capacity to 45 000 MW, said Brian Molefe, Eskom’s acting chief executive. Zuma had said on August 11 that power cuts were South Africa’s biggest challenge. They had shaved off one percentage point off growth and contributed to South Africa’s economic contraction in the second quarter of this year, he said. Medupi’s first unit...