Medupi struggling to preserve parts of unit 4 after explosion - management

The explosion occurred last year when hydrogen accidentally reacted with air inside a generator, causing it to combust. Nine employees are facing disciplinary hearings over the matter.

The generator that remains offline at Medupi Power Station. It hasn’t been working since the explosion in August last year. Kgomotso Modise/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Management at Eskom's Medupi power station said that they were struggling to preserve parts of unit four following an explosion.

The explosion occurred last year when hydrogen accidentally reacted with air inside a generator, causing it to combust.

Nine employees are facing disciplinary hearings over the matter.

Eskom took the media on a tour of the power station on Thursday, which produces about 4,800 megawatts in capacity.

As unit four lays dormant, it has become vulnerable to external forces that may cause it to further deteriorate.

Medupi’s acting general manager, Zweli Witbooi, said that this was where the preservation process comes into effect, and it isn’t always easy.

"Because of the safe making and the investigations and so forth, of course the plant preservations have been impacted and therefore this is what we're still struggling to get going. The majority of the plants are preserved but the critical ones are not, we are doing sampling and tests to make sure that the plants do not deteriorate," he said.

Eskom’s insurers will be paying for the reconstruction of unit four.

Witbooi said that this would also include the preservation.

The utility plans to start refurbishing at Medupi from next month.