Eskom Kusile fails, leaving South Africans without power

South Africans will have to deal with rolling blackouts over the next four days, thanks to failures in Eskom’s infrastructure. The debt laden state-owned entity has seen a rash of breakdowns over the last month. The government has asked people to work from home and avoid visiting one another’s homes during a level 3 lockdown. This might prove impossible for some when rolling blackouts begin. Melani Nathan

South Africa power cuts expected for days as new Eskom plant fails

By Paul Burkhardt

(Bloomberg) – South Africa faces four straight days of power cuts after state-owned utility Eskom Holdings reported a malfunction at one of its recently built generation plants and other operational issues.

Eskom, which supplies nearly all of the nation’s power, will cut 2,000 megawatts from the grid from noon on Thursday through Sunday evening, it said in a statement. In addition, Kusile, its newest facility that’s over budget and not yet fully built, experienced an outage after the failure of a conveyor belt supplying coal to two units.

Read also: Eskom CEO De Ruyter shares plan to offload properties worth R10bn

Unplanned breakdowns at Eskom’s Kriel and Duvha plants and delays in restarting other units contributed to the shortfall, it said.

The utility, which is also facing acute financial issues and operating at a loss, is in the midst of transforming the business into three separate units to add outside power producers as well as beginning a move away from coal as its main fuel.

Operational issues have plagued even what’s regarded as Eskom’s most reliable plant. The utility was forced to shut a unit earlier this month at the Koeberg nuclear facility near Cape Town.

Read also: Koeberg generators are just another Eskom scam – Chris Yelland

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