Eskom expects no load-shedding as demand drops during lockdown

Eskom says it expects to keep the lights on during the national lockdown.
Eskom says it expects to keep the lights on during the national lockdown.
Image: 123RF Eskom

Eskom does not expect to implement load-shedding during the Covid-19 national lockdown, which is to start on midnight on Thursday.

“Demand for electricity has dropped by more than 6,000MW on Thursday afternoon, with further demand reduction anticipated during the lockdown,” Eskom said in a statement.

Eskom said to protect the integrity of the system, it had started taking some generation units off the grid.

These units are available to return to service at short notice should the need arise.

Eskom said it had to postpone the “philosophy maintenance” model for the duration of the lockdown as it had to keep the number of workers on site to a minimum.

The “philosophy maintenance” model entails servicing of generation units in strict adherence to prescribed maintenance schedules.

“We have instead shifted the focus to carrying out short-term maintenance and other repairs to optimise the generation units to meet the rising demand after the lockdown.

Eskom said unplanned outages or breakdowns were at 9,116MW at 4.15pm on Thursday and planned maintenance outages were at 5,279MW.

“Eskom advises that as an essential and critical services supplier, some of its personnel are exempt from the provisions of the lockdown. As such, we do not expect any impediments to the generation and supply of electricity during this period.”

Eskom said its suppliers, particularly the coal mines, logistics suppliers and those supplying the parts and maintenance services at its power stations, will be able to operate during the lockdown.


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