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Eskom marks 100 days of no load shedding with a pat on the back

State power utility Eskom has reached 100 days without implementing load shedding for the first time since 2020.

“Considering the Intensity and the levels of load shedding in 2023, the ability to get to 100 days without load shedding is significant, while acknowledging that the risk of load shedding still exists.

“The 100 days milestone includes around a – R6.2 billion reduction in OCT [Open cycle gas turbines] diesel expenditure from 1 April 2024 to 30 June 2024, compared to the same period last year and if we maintain our trajectory on reduced diesel spend, it will be a strong driver in a possible return to profit in FY25,” Eskom’s Group Chief Executive Dan Marokane said.

‘Dedicated and skilled Eskom employees’

The power utility’s Head of Generation, Bheki Nxumalo, highlighted that the 100 days is a result of the “tireless efforts” of those working to keep the lights on at the power utility.

“The achievement of 100 continuous days without load shedding is the outcome of diligent execution of recovery plans and the tireless efforts of our 40 000 dedicated and skilled Eskom employees.

“If we maintain a 70% Energy Availability Factor (EAF) and add significant capacity within the country we can ensure adequate available capacity to meet demand without a significant risk of load shedding,” Nxumalo said.

Targeted initiatives

Eskom explained that the current upward trajectory stems from, amongst others, a “multi-dimensional Generation Operational Recovery Plan…and aggressive planned maintenance”.

The utility explained that these initiatives have led to a reduction in unplanned outages at power stations from some 18 000MW to an average of 12 000MW – marking an improvement of 6000MW since May 2023.

“This has contributed to a sustained improvement in the EAF, which has increased from 54.56% at the end of FY23/24 to a year-to-date achievement of 61.50%, an increase of 6.94% over the past three months.

“Our immediate focus remains on implementing the Generation Operational Recovery Plan, aiming to recover about 1600MW from the generation coal fleet following the successful commercial operation of Kusile Unit 5 and 930MW from Koeberg Unit 2 before the end of the calendar year. This will significantly improve the EAF by the end of March 2025,” the power utility said.

Eskom thanked government and the National Energy Crisis Committee (NECOM), and other stakeholders for their collaborative efforts, which have enabled the successful execution of its plans.

 “We will persist in implementing the operational recovery plan, strengthening governance, and future-proofing the organisation to ensure energy security, growth, and long-term sustainability for the benefit of South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

“We remain committed to improving the current business while laying the groundwork for future opportunities and initiatives. We will continue to seize every opportunity presented by industry changes for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

“The pace of change is rapid, and we are prepared to deliver on the future through improved implementation and disciplined execution,” Eskom concluded.

Here’s to many more load shedding-free days!

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