Eskom’s Medupi power station on Friday achieved a major milestone, as the first oil fire of Unit 6 was lit and smoke emerged from the Medupi chimney.
Project director Roman Crookes congratulated Eskom staff and contractors in a special internal communiqué issed Friday, on working together to get the boiler and its associated auxiliary plants ready for first oil fire.
He said liquefied petroleum gas and fuel oil was used to ignite the first oil fire. “This meant that all systems of gas and oil had to be available and fully commissioned,” Crookes said.
During first oil fire all sequence starts on the oil burners were successful; the purge steam, atomising steam and gas flame sequences were activated and the gas flame then successfully ignited the fuel oil, he explained.
“With First Oil Fire successfully achieved, the oil burners will be optimised to achieve stable oil fire. One mill will then be optimised to achieve stable coal fires. During optimisation blow through will commence,” he said.
The blow through operation is when the steam system will be cleaned to a state that will be acceptable for Steam to Turbine.
This follows after Medupi received the Pressure Equipment Regulation Certificate of Registration for Unit 6 from the Department of Labour on Thursday.
Unit 6 is the first of the six Medupi units that is scheduled to be synchronised to the national electricity grid on December 24 this year.
Eskom earlier explained in a statement that boiler registration is required as no user may use a steam generator, and therefore the boiler, unless in possession of a certificate of registration for that boiler.
“This certificate is issued by the Department of Labour and is a legal requirement. The boiler must be registered before energy can be applied to the boiler and is required for the start of First Oil Fire.
“The Medupi engineering team hand delivered the submission documentation to the Department of Labour offices in Polokwane on October 10 and ensured that due processes had been followed and that all relevant documentation was in place to avoid any delays in the evaluation. This initiative shortened the time required for evaluation on site,” Eskom said.