Conveyor belt at Medupi snaps, ups chances of load shedding

A conveyor belt feeding coal into the generation units at Medupi power plant has snapped, increasing the risk of load shedding.

"This means the four generation units in service are not able to take in the requisite amount of coal to generate electricity. This puts further strain on Eskom's ability to fully supply electricity over the next 24 hours," the utility said in a statement on Thursday morning.

Eskom said that while its teams are working to repair the conveyor belt, any further breakdown elsewhere in the generation fleet would necessitate the implementation of stage 2 load shedding at short notice.

Repairing the belt is expected to take the better part of the day.

"Eskom will continue to communicate timeously should there be any changes as the system remains unreliable and vulnerable.

"Unplanned breakdowns amount to 11 334MW of capacity, adding to the 5 831MW currently out on planned maintenance. Eskom teams are working around the clock to return as many of these generation units to service as possible," the power utility said in a statement earlier.

South Africans are urged to continue using electricity sparingly to avoid the implementation of load shedding.

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