Medupi units drowning in ash as contractor forced to withdraw

Azure 12

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Medupi units drowning in ash as contractor forced to withdraw

Eskom power shortage may deepen, large users say.

Antoinette Slabbert / 12 February 2019 00:49


Ash build-up at Medupi Unit 3 as seen on Monday morning. Picture: Supplied

The five power generation units at Eskom’s troubled new Medupi power station that have been operational are drowning in ash after Clyde Bergemann Africa (CBZ), which was contracted to supply and construct the dust handling units, withdrew its staff from the power station.

CBZ managing director Jeremy Kirsch confirmed to Moneyweb on Monday that the business was placed in business rescue last week, days after he spoke out about what he described as Eskom’s failure to operate the plant at the completed units properly.

CBZ has long-term maintenance contracts on eight other Eskom power stations, Kirsch told Moneyweb. CBZ staff are still on site at those power stations, he said.

EE Publishers managing editor Chris Yelland however reported last week that these workers are “on tenterhooks” and could down tools at any time.

As far as Moneyweb could establish at least four of the five operational units at Medupi were working on Monday, although at least one of these was said to be operating at only half the expected output.

Ash ‘abrasive, enormously damaging’

Kirsch warned last week that “ash is abrasive … it will grind things away quickly”. He criticised Eskom for failing to attend to problems at the plant immediately and said things are left for days while ash is being spewed all over. By the time the problem is fixed, the damage is enormous, he said.

In addition, Eskom buys spares from CBZ – and Eskom’s GM for Group Technology Titus Mathe stated recently (at national energy regulator Nersa’s public hearings about a proposed tariff increase for Eskom) that the utility was battling to get the necessary spares due to CBZ’s financial pressures.

CBZ’s problems only add to Eskom’s headaches, with seven units tripping within five hours on Monday. This necessitated Stage 4 load shedding, with Eskom reducing the electricity load by 4 000MW to protect the system from total collapse.

This means Eskom was unable to supply the demand of around 29 000MW. According to Eskom’s own data this is low compared to similar periods in previous years.

[...] Continued...

Link to full article
 

HowTo

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Ag shame we cant run a plant. WTF are we going to do about this.
A new plant that looks like this. They are also behind the word of maintenance.
 

HunterNW

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Haters gonna hate but....
Long ago i worked at an underground pumpstation. 3 x multistage pumps to empty underground dams back to surface. Plan your maintenance, do daily checks and it runs like a dream. Then i left, my position was filled by an AA candidate. 5 years later returned to the same operation and had a call out one evening. Pump station was flooding. None of the 3 MSG pumps were working. The place was a fckup. Just before me and a co worker got the one pump running we were up to our waist in water. Finished the work in my jocks. Terrible sight seeing mega litres of water running over dam walls.
 

R13...

Honorary Master
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29,919
This is insane.

Is this ever heard of that so much ash is just left to sit? Mind boggles at the complete ineptitude of the people in charge of our state of power. Silently raging.
It is insane. Especially since they are actually able to generate a bit of money selling some of that ash. That they just let the ash handling systems run to failure is amazing. Honestly, these people have been earning bonuses all these years while letting plant breakdown to that state?
 

ambroseg1

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So why did CBZ stop doing what they were contracted to do? Article is a little vague?
 

R13...

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So why did CBZ stop doing what they were contracted to do? Article is a little vague?
The company have financial problems (bad management looks like) and seem to be using the power crisis to try drum up sympathy over claims they're owed R150m by Eskom.
 

ArtyLoop

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So is logic, thought, consideration and prevention.
Well yes look at it this way.. in the jungle, and the plains, there's no need for any of these things, as far as they are concerned. They prefer to live like that, but somehow want the Western magicks at the same time, the two are not compatible with each other, and when such attemps at forcing compatibility, end with predictable results, the old crutch of blaming a particular culture, come out faster than the leopard they wounded earlier in the day.
 

ArtyLoop

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6,144
Haters gonna hate but....
Long ago i worked at an underground pumpstation. 3 x multistage pumps to empty underground dams back to surface. Plan your maintenance, do daily checks and it runs like a dream. Then i left, my position was filled by an AA candidate. 5 years later returned to the same operation and had a call out one evening. Pump station was flooding. None of the 3 MSG pumps were working. The place was a fckup. Just before me and a co worker got the one pump running we were up to our waist in water. Finished the work in my jocks. Terrible sight seeing mega litres of water running over dam walls.
And I am willing to bet the candidate swore at you, blamed apartheid and told you, you were racist and a contributor to WMC.
 

ghoti

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I'm willing to bet they have financial problems because the governkunts haven't been paying their bills.
Whenever I did work for the government (in my previous IT capacity), they were timely payers. But then I wasnt part of a massive corruption deal either.
 
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ArtyLoop

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Whenever I did work for the government (in my previous IT capacity), they were timely payers. But then I wasnt part of a massive corruption deal either.
Before, or during Zuma years?
 
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