An Eskom contractor at the Camden power station has been arrested for allegedly trying to sabotage the coal-fired power station.
Eskom said on Wednesday that the arrest was made after the state-owned utility “positively linked” him to an “incident of sabotage following intensive investigative work”.
“The perpetrator, who is employed by a maintenance company working at the power station, intentionally removed the bearing oil drain plug from the bearing causing the oil burner to trip repeatedly,” the company said in a statement.
“This malicious act caused all the oil to drain out from the bearing, thus damaging the bearing, which, in turn, prevented the mills from operating optimally. Camden unit 4 subsequently tripped after losing all the mills.”
The incident occurred on 10 November at 4.54pm, and a case of sabotage was opened at the Ermelo police station.
Eskom has not named the alleged saboteur or the contracting company he works for. The company said suspect was quizzed about the incident and that he confessed to the sabotage. “This act of sabotage would ensure that his employer was awarded additional maintenance and repair jobs at the power station.”
Eskom described the behaviour as “unscrupulous” and “malicious”.
“We have always suspected that some of our maintenance contractors and employees are behind these acts of sabotage,” said Eskom security GM Karen Pillay, who vowed to “bring these insiders to book and ensure justice is meted out”.
Eskom said the arrest, as well as two last week where contractor truck drivers were arrested while allegedly in possession of stolen coal, is the result of “persistent and excellent collaborative work by the Eskom security team and the police”. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media