Eskom: When lockdown ends, loadshedding begins as demand picks up

Eskom: When lockdown ends, loadshedding begins as demand picks up

- Loadshedding is likely to return when the lockdown ends as demand for power surges

- The repairs the Eskom was able to make were low-level and routine

- The international lockdown has made sourcing the necessary equipment and specialists difficult for Eskom

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Loadshedding is expected to resume in May, despite Eksom being able to carry out much-needed maintenance on its equipment during the low demand on electricity.

Energy analysts have said that Eskom has only performed low-level and routine repairs. This is due to the global lockdown and availability of the equipment needed to carry out more extensive repairs, particularly at the Medupi and Kusile power plants.

Specialised engineers have also been unable to enter the country to work on equipment.

Bheki Nxumalo, Eskom's power generation head, told the Sunday Times that loadshedding will being again in May.

"Power cuts (sic) are most likely to resume not long after the national lockdown is lifted during May"

The power generation utility had to institute level 6 loadshedding in Decemeber which cost the economy in the region of R50 to R100 million.

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Sikonathi Mant, Eskom spokesperson, said that the repairs that have been carried out were unlikely to have any effect on supply.

"It's not the deep-cycle maintenance that needs to take place. The maintenance needed is the kind where massive boiler and turbine components are replaced, especially at Kusile and Medupi power stations.
"That cannot happen because the borders are shut and supplies and specialists, who are behind the design and manufacturing of these parts, cannot be brought into the country."
"With heavy industry and mines expected to come online rapidly, the demand for power will be immense."

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