NATIONAL NEWS - The Koeberg Nuclear Power Station came to the rescue when Unit 1 returned to service and helped keep the power on yesterday.
Eskom suspended load shedding after Unit 1 returned following a planned outage, adding an extra 900MW to the system, the power utility said yesterday.
Unit 1 was out of commission for maintenance but, switched back on last week, slowly started feeding power to the national grid.
Eskom said: “Our teams continue to work around the clock to return units from planned and unplanned outages. The additional capacity brought on line, as well as lower demand over the weekend, has allowed us to replenish our pumped storage schemes and we continue to work to improve the levels of diesel at our open cycle gas turbine generators.”
At full capacity, the unit could contribute 970MW towards the power grid.
Koeberg has been generating electricity for around 36 years, but reaches its design life in four years’ time.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said in October last year that it would be extended and new capacity added, in accordance with the Integrated Resource Plan 2019.
Eskom said the system remains vulnerable to unplanned outages or breakdowns due to inadequate maintenance over a number of years.
“We continue to ask customers to reduce demand, as a concerted collective effort can help to avoid or reduce the level of load shedding.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa promised that Eskom’s continuous woes would be kept under control and government would keep the cash-strapped utility going.
Jabu Mabuza resigned as Eskom’s board chair last Friday amid reports that the power utility misled the President about the period of load shedding.
Speaking at the ANC’s 108th birthday celebrations in Kimberly, Ramaphosa said government would not privatise the power utility.
“We are going to strengthen Eskom so that it can deliver energy as it should…
“Right now, we understand very clearly the concerns that South Africans have about the load shedding that we continue to have almost on a daily basis.
“These are challenges that we are addressing,” Ramaphosa said.