South Africa: Kusile Fire May Delay Unit 5 Commissioning by 12 Months

The power utility said that while its fire protection systems extinguished the fire, inspections showed “significant damage”. Eskom said it was still in the process of inspecting the damage for repair works plus what caused the fire.

Yesterday, Eskom’s chief operating officer, Jan Oberholzer, told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts that the fire would set back Eskom’s work on the unit by a year.

“Unfortunately, I have to be open; unit number five will not be placed in commercial operation in December of 2023,” Oberholzer said, adding that they don’t believe that there was any foul play involved.

Related news: R30 billion needed to complete Kusile and Medupi power stations

Oberholzer said the incident is projected to cost Eskom R150 million per month, which is related to the delays in getting the nearly 800MW unit online much later than expected.

He reassured that the sixth and final generation unit is still on track to come online in the middle of 2024.

Both Kusile and Medupi coal fired power stations are plagued by design faults, project mismanagement and corruption which has caused massive overruns in commissioning lead times and budget. Read more

Last year in August, a massive hydrogen explosion took out a unit at Medupi Power Station. Read more

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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