This follows after the country’s state utility Eskom started implementing nationwide rolling blackouts in November this year after water and diesel reserves were depleted at its power stations.
“It is important for business to work with Eskom to manage these challenges,” said Dennis Britz, principal specialist of energy management at ArcelorMittal South Africa.
Like other industrial firms, the steel manufacturer [DATA ACL:ArcelorMittal South Africa Ltd.] is complying with Eskom’s national emergency load shedding protocol as well as providing support under the Demand Market Participation (DMP) programme.
The company said that the DMP programme was initiated by Eskom as a means to manage the balance of electricity supply and demand during peak periods.
“In cases where all the DMP units are not enough to assist Eskom, the energy provider moves to implement other measures in an effort to reduce load, of which load shedding may be one.”
(READ MORE: Eskom may increase tariffs above 8% for 2015)
ArcelorMittal added that it has a planned internal programme of load curtailment in place should the company be asked to reduce its consumption in order to limit the effect on its plants.
“A central control station for ArcelorMittal South Africa has been commissioned at the Vanderbijlpark Works. The electrical loads of all the operating units can be monitored from this control centre and, if there is an emergency, the emergency team can determine the current demand and what load reduction is required,” said the company.
“Each operating unit will be contacted to ascertain what load reduction is possible and the central control station will make a decision as to which loads should be cut. This allows ArcelorMittal South Africa to achieve the demand reduction required in a controlled manner.”