12 January 2012 – South Africa’s national power supply utility Eskom has announced that the capacity it has available to meet the country’s peak demand on Thursday 12th of January is 34,618 MW while demand is forecast at 31,168 MW. Its current planned maintenance stands at 4,461 MW while unplanned outages currently stand at 3,678 MW.

This is an improved situation from earlier in the week when the risk of blackouts was significant. On Wednesday 11th of January peak demand of 31,108 MW was met by an available capacity of 32,601 MW. On Tuesday the 10th of January peak demand of 30,753 MW was met by available capacity of 31,840 MW. On Monday 9th of January, peak demand of 30,282 MW was met by an available capacity of 30,742 MW.

The peak demand expected on Friday the 13th of January is forecast at 31,303 MW, a peak demand of 29,762 MW is anticipated for Saturday 14th and 29,205 MW is expected for Sunday the 15th.

During the course of Wednesday the 11th, Eskom says that supply from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique (1,500 MW) was lost for approximately two hours. Although supply was restored the system remains constrained and Eskom says that if its entire customer base can save 10% off their electricity usage this will make it significantly easier to manage the power system during this challenging time.