• Eskom institutes blackouts to manage load as South African economy gets back to work

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

South African state-owned utility Eskom has been in the news again after a period of absence, with planned blackouts being instituted for the first time in months. Lower electricity demand due to the COVID-19 crisis has meant that power supply has been stable, but a return to work across the country, colder weather, and plant breakdowns exceeding 3 GW of capacity forced the company into a ten-hour outage period on 10 July. Eskom CEO André de Ruyter, who has been in his position since January this year, estimated in May that the company expected only three periods of stage-one power cuts (in which 1000 MW of generating capacity is taken off line) during the winter period. It seems the tough reality of Eskom may be catching up on Mr de Ruyter.