Eskom continues ‘maintenance festival’ ahead of winter

The utility will use the long weekend to resume much-needed maintenance on its generators.

FILE: Eskom’s new acting CEO said an extra 3,000 megawatts is needed to close the gap between peak demand and available power when plants are shut down for maintenance. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

Johannesburg - Eskom says it's so called maintenance festival will continue this week to generate capacity ahead of the winter season.

The utility will use the long weekend to resume much-needed maintenance on its generators.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says all the generating units are working.

"Although we are still to see huge power consumption later in the evening, but our engineers have managed to bring back to service some of the generating units which is why we have not had to implement load shedding since Friday."

Eskom's new acting CEO Brian Molefe insisted that Eskom's financial position wasn't as bad as it seemed and said the power utility's problems could be solved.

Molefe, who along with members of the Eskom board and top executives briefed Members of Parliament and the media in Cape Town last week, said the campaign to save electricity should continue well beyond the current energy crisis.

He said the country must reduce its reliance on coal, which is currently the source of more than 80 percent of energy supply, and that reduced demand for electricity will also help Eskom's bottom line.

"In fact, if there's less electricity required our cost will also come down, because we will not burn as much coal and burn as much primary sources for electricity. It's not about the profitability of Eskom is about the sustainable way of providing electricity."

The acting Eskom CEO said the power utility is now focused on finding ways to do maintenance on its aging fleet of generators without load shedding.

He said an extra 3,000 megawatts is needed to close the gap between peak demand and available power when plants are shut down for maintenance and others break down unexpectedly.