Eskom pins hopes on return of Koeberg unit to ease load shedding

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Eskom pins hopes on return of Koeberg unit to ease load shedding

The power utility pinned its hopes on Koeberg Power Station amid continuing rolling blackouts.

FILE: Eskom's Koeberg Nuclear Power Station in Cape Town. Picture: 123rf.com
  • Eskom
  • Load shedding
  • Koeberg power station

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom says it hopes the return of unit 2 at Koeberg will alleviate pressure from the national grid.

The power utility pinned its hopes on Koeberg Power Station amid continuing rolling blackouts.

The country has now faced more than two weeks of power cuts, with residents and businesses warned to brace for yet another week of it.

While the added capacity from Koeberg will bring some reprieve, it may take another two weeks before the unit is at full capacity.

Unit 2 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station in Cape Town is Eskom’s best bet to bring some of the lights back on as the power utility battles a shortage in generation capacity.

The unit has been offline since January this year for an intensive maintenance programme. The refurbishment work is estimated to have cost in excess of R1 billion.

The power utility missed its own deadline to return the unit to the grid, citing some complications.

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said work to bring it back online would be finalised by the end of the month, adding 920 megawatts of capacity to the grid.

“This is, of course, not the news you want to hear. We want to end load shedding sooner, therefore, we will take a number of weeks to fully recover.”

Meanwhile, the power station’s chief nuclear officer Riedewaan Bakardien has resigned from Eskom.

Bakardien will leave the power utility at the end of the month to join a Canadian power utility.

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