South Africans can expect load shedding this week after Eskom was forced to shut down 11 power station units due to a lack of maintenance.
The latest proverbial spanner in the works comes amid a dire coal shortage which has compounded Eskom’s inability to meet the nation’s power demands. As the utility’s operational capabilities flounder, it’s financial turmoil has further hampered its proficiency.
Moneyweb explains that the recent shut down of power station units results from a lack of funding. Eskom, although willing and duty-bound to maintain its power stations, has no money left in its embattled coffers to finance upkeep operations.
Eskom stations shut down as coffers run dry
Eskom is struggling to meet the demand for power following the shutdown of 11 of its power station units. According to the utility’s weekly system status report, the power grid is at risk until 17 December.
The forecast for this week shows that Eskom’s electricity supply will be “definitively too short to meet reserves and, possibly, demand.”
When Eskom cannot meet the nation’s power demands, it is forced to implement load shedding. This involves cutting electricity to certain metros and suburbs as a way of saving the overburdened power grid from complete collapse.
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Eskom’s coal crisis
While the threat of load shedding already looms over the country due to Eskom’s dubious operational shutdown, an equally worrying coal situation is expected to seriously hamper the utility’s supply.
Eskom is struggling to maintain its coal reserves. This is not a new problem, in fact, for the last few months, the utility’s stockpiles have dropped to dangerously low levels. This is a result of a destructive deal inked with the Gupta-owned firm, Tegeta. The company, which is currently under business rescue administration, was granted the contract to supply Eskom with coal.
This contract, along with everything else the Guptas managed to touch, turned into a disaster which is threatening the lives of South Africans.
Moneyweb reports that 11 of Eskom’s 15 coal-fired power stations have less than 20 days’ supply of coal. Worryingly, five of those have less than 10 day’s supply.
Eskom has warned that its coal crisis is due to worsen as Mpumalanga’s rainy season approaches.
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