14 February 2012 – South Africa’s under pressure power generation network, while still tight, is experiencing some relief due to a lower volume of unplanned outages. This figure stood at 2,820 MW on Monday the 13th of February 2012, having exceeded 5,000 MW earlier in the month.

The utility has also been aided by the cooperation of some large ferrous metal companies that have taken smelters offline to alleviate some of the pressure on the national grid. At the beginning of the week of the 13th February, the utility had 35,427 MW available to meet demand of 31,593 MW. Current planned maintenance stands at 4,840 MW.

Most of Eskom’s power stations are in their mid-life and require more preventative maintenance in order to improve their performance. However, over the past two years a backlog of maintenance outages has developed, and Eskom has identified it as a priority to reduce the backlog as well as keep up with the maintenance schedule.