Photos show devastation at Medupi after explosion

Energy expert Chris Yelland has published photos showing the inside of the Unit 4 generator at Medupi power station after it exploded on Sunday night.

The explosion happened at 22:50 and caused Unit 5 of Medupi to trip.

No injuries were reported, and Eskom said that all employees and contractors were accounted for.

Yelland said he had it on good authority that there was an internal hydrogen explosion within the 800-megawatt generator of Unit 4.

“The ends of the generator have been blown off, the generator is destroyed, and it will have to be replaced,” Yelland said.

“This is a massive setback.”

Eskom subsequently confirmed Yelland’s report saying that the incident occurred while technicians attempted to displace hydrogen with carbon dioxide and air to find an external leak.

“This explosion has resulted in extensive damage to the generator,” Eskom confirmed.

“Following the power station preliminary investigation, it appears that while performing this activity, air was introduced into the generator at a point where hydrogen was still present in the generator at sufficient quantities to create an explosive mixture, which ignited and resulted in the explosion,” the power utility stated.

“It also appears that there was a deviation from the procedure for carrying out this activity.”

Eskom said it has undertaken to place those employees responsible for managing and executing this work under precautionary suspension pending the conclusion of the Major Event Investigation.

Eskom said it would update the public as to what extent the incident will impact the national electricity grid.

Preparations have begun for Medupi Unit 5’s return to service, Eskom said in a statement issued earlier on Monday.

“Emergency services attended to seven colleagues requiring treatment for shock,” Eskom said in its statement.

Eskom stated that it would continue to support the employees who might have been affected by the incident through its Employee Assistance Programme.

Now read: Eskom hiding the truth about Medupi

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Photos show devastation at Medupi after explosion