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As diesel runs out, stage 4 load shedding is reinstated.

Eskom defaulted to stage 4 load-shedding on Friday at 2 p.m., stating that it would last until Saturday 5 a.m., and that stage 2 outages would be in effect for the remainder of the weekend.

The power utility stated that this was unavoidable due to the loss of many producing units and a lack of fuel to operate open-cycle gas turbines to keep the lights on.

It claimed three producing units at Kendal power plant had been shut down, while units at Tutuka and Matimba had tripped. In addition, the restoration of units to operation at the Majuba and Lethabo power plants was delayed.

"Stage 4 load-shedding is required to halt the usage of OCGT [open cycle gas turbine] generators in order to save the remaining fuel at these power facilities, which is dangerously low," the business explained.

"The country does not have enough fuel to continue producing using OCGTs at the current rate."

Jan Oberholzer, Eskom's chief operations officer, recently warned that the utility was burning fuel "with money we don't have" to avoid load-shedding despite a serious loss of generating capacity due to scheduled and unforeseen outages.

On Friday, total failures were 17 437 megawatts, with scheduled maintenance using 4 361 megawatts.

Breakdowns in this order have occurred in recent weeks, putting more than half of the entire generating capacity out of commission, and stage 4 load-shedding was introduced last Wednesday, just days before the country went to the polls for local government elections.

It was then trimmed back and stopped for Monday's vote, but it was reinstated on Tuesday morning.

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Eskom Kendal Lethabo Majuba Tutuka


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