Installed capacity in South Africa is above maximum demand, but the loss of just a few plants can lead to load-shedding. The country has an installed capacity of 54,000 MW and winter peak demand can be 30,000 MW or more. Unplanned breakdowns of up to 16,000 MW mean there is little margin of error when combined with scheduled maintenance.
“Eskom’s challenges are immense as they try to manage planned maintenance of at-risk generation units, which removes capacity from the grid,” says Mohamed Ismail, head of fixed Income at Mergence Investment Managers in Johannesburg. The aged power system will prove to be “unreliable and unpredictable,” and load shedding so far in 2022 is much higher than in the same period in 2021, he says.