Friday, October 17, 2014

Electricity Supply Situation

Engineering News Online reported in an article `With 32 units in need of ‘surgery’, Eskom says unplanned outages to remain’, published on 17 September 2014, that interim Eskom CEO, Collin Matjila, had advised the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy that Eskom ‘would take some time to arrest the current high levels of unplanned outages, revealing that 32 of its 87 coal-fired generating units required “major surgery”, while four were in a “critical condition”’.

A copy of the Eskom presentation to the Committee on 16 September 2014 is available on the AMEU website at http://www.ameu.co.za/LibraryReports/IndustryDocuments.aspx#lt-5258191-electricity-supply .

Eskom also indicated that its unplanned capacity loss factor (UCLF) in 2013/14 rose to around 11%, while its energy availability factor (EAF) fell to 75.1%. It was forecasting plant availability of 75.5% for the remainder of the 2014/15 financial year. The recovery plan was premised on recommitting to and delivering on Eskom’s ‘80-10-10’ operating model, which implied 80% plant availability, 10% planned outages and 10% unplanned events across a period of a year. Eskom has now entered its high-maintenance summer period and was forecasting that the system would “remain tight” throughout summer – the season during which the utility had historically resorted to rotational load shedding.

In an article by TechCentral, published on the 14 August 2014 and titled `Eskom warns of summer load shedding’, Mr Matjila is reported to have warned MPs that  `South Africa has up to five years to go before its electricity supply crisis is over, and consumers may well face limited power cuts this summer.

Copies of the full Engineering News Online article is available at http://newsletters.creamermedia.co.za/servlet/link/14/63836/141325/1618733 (Source: Creamer Media’s Engineering News at www.engineeringnews.co.za) and the TechCentral article can be viewed at http://www.techcentral.co.za/eskom-warns-of-summer-load-shedding/51039/.

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