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    More load shedding ahead with Koeberg power plant set for further maintenance


    November 16, 2022 - Soyiso Maliti

     

      Cape Town - There will be more load shedding as the Koeberg power plant will undergo maintenance for six months from next month, Eskom executives have warned.

      In a press briefing on the state of the entity yesterday, the power utility’s COO Jan Oberholzer said the power station would be subject to scheduled maintenance from December 8 until June next year – in the final stretch of Eskom’s preparations to extend the plant’s life beyond 2024.

      Koeberg Unit 1 would be taken off-line, and with it 920 megawatts of power generation from the grid, Oberholzer said. The unit would undergo maintenance and refuelling, while three steam generators would be replaced.

      Koeberg’s Unit 2 returned online almost two months ago, he said.

      Oberholzer said the relatively new breakdown-prone Kusile power station had no reserve margin, among a litany of other problems.

      The presentation reads: “The Generation side of the business remains a concern, specifically the availability of the coal power stations. 2022 Energy Availability Factor (EAF) at 58.53% is below the targeted performance level. A key contributor to the low EAF was high levels of planned maintenance over the summer months.”

      In its presentation, Eskom recorded an improved score on emissions.

      “Since April 1 there have been a total of 141 days of load shedding. The high levels of unplanned outages remain a concern but we continue to drive our Reliability Maintenance Recovery Programme to reduce these. However, available capacity remains a challenge,” the presentation said.

      Acting Generation head Thomas Conradie said the planned maintenance was the reason for the low EAF – and planned maintenance was a result of the high number of breakdowns.

      This week, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research published statistics that showed that this year’s load shedding had been the most “intensive” to date – with 4 000MW of simultaneous cuts.

      Delivering more bad news, Oberholzer announced that its veteran official, acting Generation division boss Rhulani Mathebula, had resigned after the company failed to meet targets in a year categorised as its worst to date.

      He cited the demands at Eskom as affecting his family and his health.

      In the briefing, officials conceded that the Generation division’s performance was “unsatisfactory”.

      soyiso.maliti@inl.co.za

      Cape Argus

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