Loadshedding remains suspended after 72 days of suspension – Winter Outlook maintained

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/7/2024, Location: Africa

Eskom is pleased to announce that loadshedding continues to remain suspended until further notice, due to further incremental improvement in the reliability of the generation fleet.

Loadshedding has currently been suspended for 72 consecutive days. The last time South Africa experienced such an extended suspension of loadshedding was the period between 05 December 2021 and 02 February 2022.

The strategic move as part of the Generation Operational Recovery Plan to improve the reliability of our generation fleet for winter 2024 through increased planned maintenance during the summer months of 2023/24 to an average of 8 000MW and between December 2023 and January 2024, where we reached an average of 18% of the generation capacity under maintenance, continues to deliver results.

The winter forecast published on 26 April 2024 anticipated a likely scenario of unplanned outages at 15 500MW and loadshedding limited to Stage 2 – this remains in force.

Our generation performance continues to surpass the winter forecast for this year. The current unplanned outages average is at 11 300MW which is 3 000MW less than what was anticipated.

Key Performance Highlights:

• Reduction in unplanned outages:
o The Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor (UCLF) decreased to 28.0% in the financial year to date (1 April 2024 to 6 June 2024), a reduction from 35.7% recorded in the same period last year (1 April 2023 to 6 June 2023).
o This reduction in UCLF represents an ~8% improvement in the current financial year (1 April 2024 to 6 June 2024) as compared to the previous year in the same period.

• Planned Maintenance
o The current planned maintenance of 4 653MW is consistent with our maintenance plans for this winter.

• Sustained Energy Availability Factor (EAF) improvement
o The year-to-date (1 April 2024 to 6 June 2024) EAF increased to 61.1%. This is a significant ~8% improvement compared to the same period last year (1 April 2023 to 6 June 2023), where the EAF was 53.2%.
o The weekly EAF has moved from 57.0% at the beginning of the financial year to 63.8% from 1 April to 6 June 2024.
o The EAF improvement is primarily due to a drop in the unplanned outages of the generation units which averaged at 12 700MW in the month of May 2024.

• Strategic utilisation of Open-Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs)
o OCGT usage continue to be significantly lower compared to the same period for the past two years.
o From 1 April 2024 to 6 June 2024, Eskom spent R1.71 billion on OCGTs, producing 246.91GWh. This is about 77% less than from 1 April 2023 to 6 June 2023 when R7.4 billion was spent to produce 1 210.23GWh.
o From 1 June to 6 June 2024, Eskom spent R0.15 billion on OCGTs, producing 21.89GWh. This figure is high due to weather related increase in demand, however it remains within Eskom’s published winter forecast and budget for Financial Year 2025, that runs from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025. In the same period last year, 1 June to 6 June, Eskom’s spend on diesel was 10% lower.
o The OCGT load factor for 1 May to 31 May 2024 continued to be much less at 2.27% compared to last year’s figure of 28.22% over the same period.
o The OCGT load factor for 1 June to 6 June 2024 was 4.45%, which is marginally lower when compared to last year’s figure of 4.73% over the same period.

A total of 3 020MW of generating capacity is planned to be returned to service by Monday 10 June 2024.

Eskom’s evening peak demand tonight, Friday 07 June 2024, is 29 704MW.

Preventing network overloading and risk to life
As demand for electricity rises while temperatures fall with the onset of winter, the issue of network overloading has resurfaced in some areas due to electricity theft. This theft is wide ranging and includes illegal connections, network equipment theft, vandalism, meter bypasses and tampering, unauthorised network operations and purchasing electricity from illegal vendors.

To prevent risk to life, load reductions, while loadshedding is suspended, and abrupt loss of supply, Eskom urges customers to reduce their consumption, ensure that the electricity they consume is legally connected and purchased from legal vendors, and to report illegal activities to the Eskom Crime line on 0800 112 722.

Eskom will provide an update next Friday 14 June 2024 or promptly communicate any significant changes as soon as they occur.

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