Due to plant failure, Eskom extends power cuts to Friday

Eskom Image Source: Image: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg
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South Africa’s struggling power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd will cut power supplies nationwide until Friday after more breakdowns at some of its facilities.

The state-owned company said it would extend cuts of 2,000 megawatts from the grid because of shortages caused by two plant failures. Eskom, which has faced delays in restarting two other generating units that were being serviced, said it’s been forced to ration power further after exhausting emergency reserves.

“The emergency generation reserves have been used extensively in the past days to avoid load shedding during the day,” Eskom said. “This has resulted in these being depleted, reducing available capacity.”

The utility, which supplies 95% of South Africa’s electricity, resumed rolling blackouts May 31. Eskom is saddled with about R400 billion ($29 billion) of debt that is adding to the government’s challenge of attracting new investment to stoke growth in Africa’s most-industrialized economy.

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