Medupi problems far from over, say experts in wake of explosion

Energy expert Chris Yelland said that this proved that Medupi was nowhere close to being fully operational, despite an announcement last week that its 14-year construction had been completed.

Eskom's Medupi power station. Picture: Eskom.co.za

CAPE TOWN - Energy experts said that Eskom's problems at the Medupi power station were far from over.

This follows an explosion at the Limpopo plant on Sunday night. No injuries were reported, and an investigation was under way.

Eskom employees were working on the Unit 4 generator, cleaning a part of the mechanism containing hydrogen, when an explosion occurred.

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Energy expert Chris Yelland said that this proved that Medupi was nowhere close to being fully operational, despite an announcement last week that its 14-year construction had been completed.

“There's a lot of work to be done, fixing design faults and execution faults. Eskom said that it's going to take another two years or so. And then there’ still the gas desulfurisation plant, which is going to only be ready by about 2030, the plant is a long way from complete,” he said.

Energy analyst Roger Lily said that it remained unclear for how long the affected generator could be out of service.

“We also don't know how much work is or how much damage has been done to Unit 4, but what we do know is that what work was going on Unit 4 has to be immediately suspended while an investigation takes place to find out exactly what happened,” said Lily.

On Monday, Eskom assured customers that the blast would not result in rolling blackouts.

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