Eskom of South Africa announced a new plan to procure engineering and maintenance services from OEMs in the coming months to supplement its skills base at its ailing coal-fired power stations.
Andre de Ruyter, CEO of Eskom, said that the company was canvassing labour and the government on the plan to deploy personnel from the OEMs for maintenance of its equipment in plants prone to malfunction, but that the “boots on the ground” would be to focus on equipment rather than operations. He said: “This is not a strategy that we’re going to implement across the board, but only at those power stations that are the significant contributors to unplanned capacity losses. Those are the power stations where there is a need to bring in supplementary skills. If all goes well, we should be able to see those boots on the ground at some power stations in the next six to eight months.”
Eskom said that power generation unit each at the Majuba, Matimba, and Arnot power stations have returned to service, while a single unit at Tutuka has been shut down for repairs. Two more units are set to be returned to service. As a result, Eskom has been able to step down from stage 4 to stage 2 load shedding.