Boiler tube leaks, the cause of Stage 6 load shedding - Electricity Minister

Electricity Minister, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says teams are working around the clock to return to service the units that have contributed to load shedding being intensified.

Ramokgopa gave an update on Sunday on the performance of the grid following the escalated levels of rolling power cuts. He said boiler tube leaks at nine units contributed to the load shedding being ramped up to stage 6.

“Eskom management has taken a decision, having identified boiler tube leaks as a major area of concern that undermines the availability of these units, to work directly with the original equipment manufacturers, so that they do not go through the middleman. They are engaging with the people who had designed these units.

“The people who know the DNA of these units are the ones who are assigned the responsibility to deal with this, so that we are able to do a proper root cause analysis, and be able to diagnose and then provide a prognosis, and return these units to service at the quickest possible period of time, having taken into account all safety concerns,” Ramokgopa said.


Ramokgopa said from Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 4 400 megawatts were taken off the grid.

The power stations whose units had contributed to the 4 400 megawatts include Lethabo, Matimba, Duvha, Majuba, Camden, Grootvlei, Kriel and Medupi.

"Our planned maintenance is at about 7 000MW... If it means we ramp up load shedding for the purposes of conducting planned maintenance... we will be able to return the units healthier... for the long-term gain," said Ramokgopa. 

The Minister said by March, they are expecting to see significant improvements in the intensity of load shedding.

“We can account for the sources of failure. We know what the issues are... We are working on ensuring that we return these units, and if there are other issues, the board and the executive will look at that,” Ramokgopa said. 


Done By: Mitchum George


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