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Eskom's Medupi power station.

Eskom Postpones Scheduled Medupi Station Maintenance As Power Grid Remains Under Strain

Eskom has postponed scheduled maintenance at one of biggest power plants at a time when it’s trying to stave off another round of blackouts.

The Medupi power station was due to undergo “design modifications” this week but a faulty conveyor belt led to the first bout of load shedding for 2020.

Eskom’s chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said: “We wanted to take out Medupi today then implement all of the design modifications but because of the constrained system, we will hold back.”

He said that he had instructed experts to reconfigure the coal handling systems at some power stations.

“What we have at Medupi is exactly what we’re experiencing at Kusile… These are two stations that need to contribute 20% of the country’s capacity.”

Eskom’s new chief executive took charge of the struggling state-owned utility this morning, embarking on the mammoth task of fixing South Africa’s power deficit and restructuring a debt pile that has crippled the national economy.

Andre de Ruyter was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in November.

He’ll oversee a government plan to split Eskom into three units for generation, transmission and distribution to make it more efficient.