State-owned power utility Eskom has reiterated its commitment to keeping unplanned breakdowns below 4 000 MW and ensuring no load-shedding for the rest of the year, as it revises its weekend maintenance plans in line with dropping temperatures. As winter temperatures start to set in, the State-owned company reported growing demand for energy, which it vowed to meet while undertaking the required maintenance on its power generating plants. “We remain committed to keeping unplanned breakdowns below 4 000 MW in order to enable us to meet demand without or with limited use of our open-cycle gas turbines,” the company said in a power update. This emerged as Eskom reached a capacity milestone last week, wherein there was available capacity of 37 067 MW – the highest in four years – to meet demand. “This is significant indeed, as it translates to an energy availability factor of 83.4%. Our year-to-date performance is moving in the right direction with unplanned breakdowns reaching 10.9%, planned maintenance at 11.8% and energy availability now at 77.29%,” Eskom said. Plant availability increased from 70% in October 2015 to 76% by April, while capacity increased by 2 599 MW, excluding the Medupi power station. Further, the power utility now had excess capacity of up to 11 000 MW between 02:00 and 18:00 in winter, which it was looking to export.
EDITED BY: CREAMER MEDIA REPORTER
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