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Wednesday, 01 May 2024 17:05

Eskom finally achieves an Energy Availability Factor (EAF) of 65.5%.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Eskom board chairman Mteto Nyati has congratulated his team for achieving an Energy Availability Factor (EAF) of 65.5%, saying they continue to reach beyond its reach through conscious effort. 

Nyati said the board had set April 2024 target of 65% and April 2025 target of 70%.

EAF is a core performance metric for Eskom because it is directly linked to load-shedding. When the EAF declines, less power is available, which typically leads to load-shedding.

Eskom's EAF has been declining for years because of poor maintenance at power stations and increased breakdowns.

However, Eskom's EAF has been increasing in recent weeks, which has resulted in a load-shedding-free April.

During a State of the System address hosted on Friday, Eskom confirmed its generation recovery plan (GRP) is making tangible progress, with various coal-fired power station units having been refurbished, repaired or optimised.

Launched in April 2023 following extensive stakeholder engagements, including with power station managers, the GRP aims to address challenges affecting South Africa's energy availability factor (EAF) within a two-year timeframe.

The impact of the GRP had been positive, Nyati said, citing the current 30-day streak of no loadshedding as an example.

Eskom aims to improve the EAF further to 70% in the 2025 financial year.

Under the GRP, priority was given to repairing and maintaining select power stations. This included those that were performing well, followed by those with technical faults or other issues.

Nyati said Eskom group executive for generation Bheki Nxumalo played an instrumental role in leading these efforts since his appointment in April 2023.

Another effort by the GRP has been to make sure that all Eskom's power stations are being led by individuals that understand the technical aspects of the plant and resolve the challenges that power stations are facing.

Nxumalo said the priority stations of the GRP were Tutuka, Duvha, Majuba, Matla, Kendal, Arnot, Kriel and Koeberg, which were the ones with the most issues to resolve, while Eskom had a "safeguarding performance" approach at the Medupi, Lethabo, Matimba and Peaking power stations.

Key actions in the 2024 financial year include successfully executing projects at Koeberg Unit 1 and sustaining performance at Medupi  power station, as well as returning Kusile units 1, 2 and 3 to performance, which were a major contributor to the record loadshedding experienced in 2023.