Eskom still counting costs after explosion at Medupi Power Station

The explosion ripped through Medupi’s Unit 3 Generator just before 11pm on 8 August.

An explosion ripped through Medupi Power Station’s Unit 3 Generator just before 11 pm on 8 August. Picture: @chrisyelland/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Eskom is still calculating the cost of an explosion at its Medupi Power Station earlier this month.

The explosion ripped through Medupi’s Unit 3 Generator just before 11 pm on 8 August.

At the time, the unit was in a short-term outage for repairs to some components.

Eskom has suspended eight senior staff pending an investigation into the blast, which is believed to have been caused by a failure to properly purge of hydrogen one of the generators at the plant.

READ: Medupi power plant blast won't cause load shedding - Eskom

The Department of Public Enterprises has been giving Parliament’s oversight committee on public enterprises an update on the state of state-owned entities on Wednesday.

Director-general of public enterprise Kgathatso Tlhakudi could not tell the committee when the damaged Medupi unit will be back in operation, or the total cost of the damage caused by the explosion.

“At the moment, the full extent of the damage is being determined, there is a part of Eskom that was tasked with the responsibility to perform that particular work. What has been determined is that procedures to purge the generator were not properly followed. Those that oversaw that operation have been suspended so that a proper investigation can unfold.”

Tlhakudi said the explosion meant the loss of almost 800 megawatts of capacity from the grid, which was already under strain.

WATCH: Medupi explosion: Eight suspended

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