Eskom maintenance contractor arrested for sabotage

Eskom says a maintenance contract worker at the coal-fired Camden Power Station in Mpumalanga was arrested on Tuesday after he was positively linked to an incident of sabotage.

The accused was found to have intentionally removed a bearing oil drain plug, causing one of the generating unit’s oil burners to trip repeatedly.

“This malicious act caused all the oil to drain out from the bearing, thus damaging the bearing which, in turn, prevented the mills from operating optimally,” Eskom explained.

“Camden Unit 4 subsequently tripped after losing all the mills.”

The incident in question occurred at around 16:54 on Thursday, 10 November 2022.

Eskom said it opened a case of alleged sabotage with the Ermelo Police Station immediately after the incident.

“Internal investigations led to the culprit being identified and questioned about the incident,” Eskom said.

“The evidence obtained and the confession made by the perpetrator revealed the plug was intentionally removed to cause the trip.”

Eskom alleged the sabotage would help the contractor’s employer get awarded additional maintenance and repair jobs at the power station.

Eskom “always suspected” sabotage among maintenance workers

Eskom general manager for security, Karen Pillay, said it was disheartening that some of Eskom’s contractors had malicious intent and were willing to plunge the country into further load-shedding at a time when the electricity grid was highly constrained.

“We have always suspected that some of our maintenance contractors and employees are behind these acts of sabotage,” Pillay said.

The arrest follows two contractor truck drivers being apprehended at Kendal Power Station last week while attempting to steal coal.

Eskom said these developments were the result of “persistent and excellent” work by Eskom’s security team and the police.

“We shall continuously work with the law enforcement agencies to bring these insiders to book and ensure that justice is meted out, but most importantly that those with similar tendencies across Eskom are arrested and removed from the organisation,” she added.


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Eskom maintenance contractor arrested for sabotage