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Eskom requires more capacity to stop load-shedding.

The Power Utility needs additional power capacity of at least 4 000MW to 6 000MW to complement its current maximum power output, according to Eskom Chief Operating Officer, Jan Oberholzer. 20,000 MW

In a statement on Monday, Oberholzer said additional capacity is required to stop load-shedding.

He said electricity is necessary for economic growth.

Oberholze said Koeberg Unit 1 tripped due to a fault on the feedwater pump of the secondary plant on Sunday morning.

The plant was shut down according to standard operating procedures, and all parameters are stable,

Oberholzer said there are no nuclear safety concerns on the plant’s reactor side, ready to be restarted once an issue with the feedwater pump is rectified.

As part of its planned maintenance programme, Eskom hopes to reduce power outages.

“We aim to build stable and reliable power plants to minimize the possibility of load shedding. Thus, Eskom will not reduce its reliability, maintenance and life cycle refurbishment levels, “Oberholzer said.

In a statement on Monday, Oberholzer said the power utility intends to maintain its expedited maintenance programme during the summer months, when maintenance is at its peak.

He said since September, Eskom has enhanced its maintenance program to accommodate an average outage of 5500MW.

“This is comparable with the amount of maintenance performed between September 2020 and March 2021, but it is nearly twice as much as the average maintenance performed between September 2019 and April 2020.”

“We understand that maintenance will increase load-shedding in the short term, but it will improve the future performance of the generation fleet,” said Oberholzer.

He said the Kleberg nuclear power plant is operating at the peak of its performance, with Unit 2 operating uninterrupted since its last refueling outage in October 2020.

Unit 2 at Kleberg will be shut down in January 2022 for maintenance, refueling, and steam generator replacement (SRG).

SGR has allowed Kleberg to continue operating for another 20 years and beyond 2024, and Eskom has submitted a formal application to extend the operating license to the relevant regulatory authority.

“So far, the work done to correct the design defects at the Medupi power station has resulted in steady improvement and high reliability.

Similarly, this work has begun at Kusile, where some major design defects have already been corrected on Unit 1.”

In Lephalale, unit 6 at Medupi Power Station is currently experiencing a 720MW full load loss following the August explosion, while 640MW Unit 1 at Kendal Power Station in Ogies, Mpumalanga, is also offline due to an electrical fire in September.

Load shedding, according to Eskom, has a huge economic impact.

‘The energy availability factor (EAF) has dropped to 65 percent, compared to a target of 70 percent. The EAF was badly impacted by high levels of planned maintenance throughout the summer months. During this time, however, there has been a rise in unplanned outages, “said Oberholzer.

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