Eskom: Recent outages caused by network tripping between Zim, Zambia

Earlier this week, the utility confirmed that a major incident occurred in Zambia affecting the entire Southern African network as power is imported from Cahora Bassa.

FILE: Eskom's group executive for transmission Segomoco Scheppers was part of a media conference to explain the recent outages on Tuesday. Picture: Pexels

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Eskom has moved to explain what happened with the network involving Zambia and SADC countries at the weekend.

Earlier this week, the utility confirmed that a major incident occurred in Zambia affecting the entire Southern African network as power is imported from Cahora Bassa.

Eskom's group executive for transmission Segomoco Scheppers was part of a media conference to explain the recent outages on Tuesday.

“What we do know is that Zambia has experienced a blackout over the weekend and lost close to 2,000 megawatts. And as part of being an interconnected network, there were power swings observed between the Zambian and Zimbabwean networks.”

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He said non-firm power was suspended immediately.

“Because power was now flowing north, essentially from South Africa through Zimbabwe and into Zambia, when the interconnector tripped between Zimbabwe and Zambia, it then had an impact of over frequency in the Zimbabwean network. Various transmission lines tripped in Zimbabwe leading to a number of generators also tripping in the Zimbabwean network.”

This comes with the news that this country will move to stage three at 5 am on Wednesday with load shedding reduced thereafter.

ESKOM ‘WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK’

While work is under way to get more units online, Eskom is encouraging South Africans to co-operate and help stabilise the grid.

Bu when will load shedding end? This has been a frequently asked question this week and Eskom seems to have some answers.

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said the short-term response was from Saturday morning.

But he said until such time as Eskom added the 4,000 to 6,000 megawatts that it had been talking about for two years, load shedding would remain.

Eskom said some municipalities were not following load shedding directives and had contributed to the problem.

Group executive for distribution Monde Bala said only two municipalities complied with load shedding directives from Eskom.

“Of the municipalities that we supply, only eThekwini and Buffalo City have adhered strictly to their load shedding requirements and all the other municipalities did not. The list is quite long.”

He said the power utility was talking to the municipalities and had drafted letters as well.

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