State-owned power utility Eskom has said that unit 1 of its Koeberg nuclear power plant, in the Western Cape, would only return to service next month after another fault was revealed.
The unit, which tripped on February 20 owing to an electrical fault, would undergo further repairs to a valve damaged during the failure of the unit.
The fault was revealed after Eskom attempted to recommission the plant following the electrical repair.
While Unit 2 continued to operate at full power, Eskom warned of tight overall electricity supply as it struggled to meet demand, with a narrowing supply/demand margin.
“Plant performance continues to be volatile and the power system is very tight,” the entity said in its state of power report, adding that the transmission line from Cahora Bassa, in Mozambique, continued to undergo repairs after damages caused by the flooding of the Limpopo river, further adding to the strain.
Imports from Cahora Bassa were now at 650 MW.
Eskom met daily power demand of between 30 000 MW and 31 000 MW with available daily capacity of between 32 000 MW and 33 000 MW.
Peak demand for the days ahead was expected to reach 29 654 MW on Friday, 28 547 MW on Saturday and 28 162 MW on Sunday, with demand rising to 31 340 MW, 31 301 MW and 31 259 MW on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.