It will cost R2.5-billion to fix the Eskom generating unit that exploded at the Medupi power station last August.
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said at a virtual press conference on Thursday that the facility in insured, and that the company is in discussion with its insurers to “ascertain who will pay for what and what we can do to recover the cost”.
De Ruyter said that an investigation by Eskom has determined that the explosion at Medupi Unit 4 occurred because of a failure by staff to comply with procedures. As a result, “appropriate action will be taken” against the individuals concerned “following due process”, he said, without elaborating.
The replacement cost of R2.5-billion is an “unfortunate blow”, De Ruyter said, particularly as it will mean that 720MW is not available while repairs take place. This will put further constraints on the system, contributing to the likelihood of load shedding. (Eskom last implemented load shedding on 19 November 2021, despite heavy summer rains.)
Also contributing to a greater risk of load shedding is the fact that Eskom has taken Unit 2 at the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town off the grid for scheduled refuelling. The unit will be offline for 155 days, after which Koeberg Unit 1 will be taken offline.
On last year’s sabotage of infrastructure of the Lethabo power station, De Ruyter said Eskom has deployed 450 additional security guards at its facilities. It has also deployed drones equipped with infrared cameras that can operate at night as well as installed “intelligent cameras that detect untoward behaviour at our facilities”.
“It’s still early days but it (the technology) seems to ensure we are able to protect our assets through both overt and covert intelligence gathering and surveillance,” De Ruyter said. — (c) 2022 NewsCentral Media