Eskom needs R594 million to fix Medupi design flaws

Eskom requires nearly R600 million to fix design defects at its R135 billion Medupi power station, reports the Sunday Times.

“The cost of fixing the defects is at R594m for the Medupi project. The liability is still to be determined,” Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha told the publication.

Eskom started work on the Medupi power station in 2007, and the plan was to complete it by 2014.

However, this deadline was not met, and the power station was only confirmed by Eskom to be completed in August 2021 — nearly eight years late.

Medupi Power Station

Eskom said at the time that building Medupi had cost R122 billion, and would not exceed R135 billion in total costs.

However, in 2019 energy expert Chris Yelland explained that the overall completion cost for Medupi would actually be about R234 billion after adding the flue gas desulphurisation and capitalised interest during construction.

The costs incurred by the incompetence surrounding Medupi’s development have continued to rise, as Medupi’s unit 4 exploded shortly after Eskom announced that it was finished.

Eskom CEO André De Ruyter had estimated the cost of repairs to be about R2.5 billion at the time.

These repairs are expected to take over two years, with the unit returning to service by 31 August 2024.

André de Ruyter
Andre de Ruyter, Eskom CEO

Looking for alternatives

Eskom’s extensive issues —including incompetence like that seen in the Medupi project, and the constant threat of load-shedding, have forced cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town to prioritise contracting private power suppliers to supplement the existing power grid.

These cities see these alternative power sources as crucial because the current power cuts are a big problem — for their residents and businesses who rely on a stable power supply to keep these cities’ economies running smoothly.

Johannesburg executive mayor Mpho Phalatse has also highlighted the possibility of an energy emergency in her city, as the city is sitting on a knife-edge when it comes to its power supply.

Now read: Eskom announces Stage 4 power cuts

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Eskom needs R594 million to fix Medupi design flaws