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Jo’burg boosts power reserves to avoid load-shedding

The City of Johannesburg will have 80 megawatts of electricity reserves by the end of August as a result of recommissioning two gas turbines.

”We are the economic hub of Africa and frequently host international events, so we cannot have a situation that puts residents, business, investors and tourists at financial and personal risk,” said City Power MD Silas Zimu on Thursday.

He said the city needed to find a way to protect its citizens from the effects of load-shedding.

Unless Eskom asks the city to load-shed more than 200MW of electricity, ”people can confidently go about their business”, he said.

Traffic congestion, loss of business profits, buying generators and cooking extra meals should now be avoided.

Once recommissioning starts, another 40MW of electricity will be available from a third gas-turbine unit.

”We intend having a total 550MW of controllable load at our disposable by 2010,” said Zimu.

The gas turbines should provide 120MW, while an additional 190MW should come from Kelvin Power Station, 120MW from the current ripple geyser controls and another 120MW from future ripple geyser controls.

Zimu said these reserves do not mean the city will not experience power failures due to unplanned technical problems or that residents should no longer use electricity sparingly or be energy efficient. — Sapa

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