You’ll have to excuse me if I’m not overly optimistic, but we’ll hear Eskom out.
Yesterday, Pravin Gordhan, along with the new technical review team, Eskom chief executive Phakamani Hadebe, and board chair Jabu Mabuza, announced how Eskom intends to keep the lights on.
According to Moneyweb, they took the assembled media through their “frank and factual” two-part plan on how Eskom plans to get better performance from its power plants (maybe start by not buying rocks), and also spoke about accountability for managers and employees who drop the ball.
Accountability at Eskom? What a novel concept.
Here’s the winter plan:
In order to stay within the 9 500 MW window for the winter period (from the beginning of May to the end of August), Eskom will bring back two units that have been out for a long time. Kriel Unit 2, which produces 475 MW of power, is scheduled to return to the grid on April 18, followed by Matla Unit 5, which will bring in a further 575 MW by May 13.
The Kusile 2 and Medupi 2 [above] units, which are not yet in commercial operation, are expected to add 1 200 MW. However, Eskom system operator Bernard Magoro emphasises that they are still being tested and commissioned.
They will also try to bring Unit 3 at Kusile into synchronisation before the end of April, and restore the power lines from the Cahora Bassa hydropower plant, which remain damaged in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai.
Eskom system operator Bernard Magoro says these measures should do the trick, although he ominously added that “there may be those odd days where things get out of control”.
You’ve been warned.
Looking past the immediate future, Lethabo Unit 5 will be brought back in December, and the utility is working with mines and other intensive energy users to reduce the demand on the grid.
We know that small businesses have taken a pounding (some tips on keeping your business running here), and it remains to be seen what the long-term effects are on some of the bigger players.
The public participation drive encouraging citizens to use less electricity is also estimated to reduce demand, by between 100 MW and 500 MW.
Hadebe emphasises that Eskom will continue to implement its nine-point plan which outlines the long term turnaround strategy for the embattled utility.
In short, here’s an overview of the plan via MyBroadband:
I’m sure many of us applaud Pravin and his crew’s attempts to turn our state-owned enterprise mess around, but you really can’t polish a turd.
Energy expert Ted Blom has been very vocal in his criticism of the utility, and he isn’t all that impressed with the latest plans, either.
He spoke with eNCA earlier this morning:
“The minister said that he categorically will limit load-shedding to stage 1, which is 1000 megawatts. The fact of the matter is, he’s either ignorant or he’s been ill-informed.
“Load-shedding is determined by the system. If we need to go to stage 4 to protect the system, that’s where we need to go to. If that hard cap has been put onto Eskom, I think he (Gordhan) has just moved the chances of a [total grid] meltdown up by at least 30 percent.”
Well, that’s grand.
You can see Blom from the 3:30 mark below:
[imagesource:here] New World Wealth has published its latest report, revealing the weal...
With all the focus on Solana and Cardano, it’s funny how no one is speaking about the fo...
[imagesource: Searchlight Pictures] Fridays are for finishing work early. My condole...
[imagesource: Twitter / The LeftBacks] If you grew up spending a decent amount of time ...
[imagesource: YouTube / Ady Short] In South Africa, and especially in Cape Town, motori...