Eskom: 100 days without load shedding

JOHANNESBURG: ESKOM has reported steady progress in reducing its maintenance backlog, a move that has seen the company go 100 days without load shedding. "Today (Tuesay) is the 100th day of no load shedding, except for a 2-hour 20 minute outage recorded on 14 September," the company said. It said the power system is currently stable with no load shedding anticipated.

The company reported that the steady progress in reducing its maintenance backlog had resulted in improved plant availability and a drop in plant breakdowns over the past three months. In terms of its existing Generation Sustainability Strategy, Eskom's aim is to achieve 80 percent plant availability, 10 percent planned maintenance and 10 percent unplanned maintenance over the medium term. The adherence to regular scheduled maintenance is set to limit unplanned maintenance to below 7 000MW in summer and 4 500MW in winter.

The company is implementing appropriate levels of planned maintenance in line with the Generation Sustainability Strategy to ensure long-term plant health. This has resulted in an improvement in unplanned maintenance and the number of plant breakdowns over the past three months, positively impacting plant availability.

More than 64 percent of Eskom's power stations are in their mid-life and require more preventative maintenance in order to improve their performance and ensure their safety. Over the past few years a backlog of maintenance outages has developed, and Eskom has identified it as a priority to reduce the backlog as well as keep up with the maintenance schedule, the company said.

Meanwhile, Eskom and Hydroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) from Mozambique will this week undertake planned maintenance on the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme. This routine maintenance will reduce South Africa's imports from Cahora Bassa by 650MW for the whole week.