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Eskom on top of maintenance game

On Wednesday, South African state-owned power utility, Eskom, said that it has significantly improved its plant performance since August last year, resulting in no load shedding being implemented for nearly nine consecutive months.

“We are adhering to our Tetris maintenance plan and are operating within our 8,500MW maintenance budget whilst making the most of the weekend maintenance opportunities,” the utility said in a company statement.

Eskom on track

According to the power company, the total average for unplanned outages from 28 April – 02 May 2016 was approximately 2,819MW, with a partial load loss average around 1,249MW.

“We even had partial load losses dipping to record lows of 780MW on Tuesday, 3 May 2016,” the utility said.

Adding that: “Key performance highlights for the long weekend comprised of no diesel dispatched over the weekend and a total forced outage rate (UCLF) of below 3,000MW on average for the weekend.”

[quote]The reduction in unplanned outages has contributed to improvements in plant availability and the resultant sharp reduction in the usage of open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs).

Preliminary figures indicate steady improvement in energy availability factor (EAF), which stands at 76.37% for the financial year to date as at 03 May 2016.

The monthly EAF has been improving steadily from October 2015 (69.87%) to April 2016 (76.25%), the company noted.

Increased resilience

In April, the utility disclosed that 3,535MW of power was lost due to multiple trips of units at three power stations.

According to the utility, the urgency to implement load shedding was avoided as a result of “the increased resilience that the company built into the power system over the past eight months”.

Eskom claims to have a “robust plan” to ensure that performed maintenance has no impact on power supply.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.


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