Explosion at Medupi power station’s Unit 4 generator

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Eskom has announced that there was an explosion at Unit four generator at the Medupi power station in Lephalale, Limpopo.

The power utility says no injuries have been reported and all employees at the plant have been accounted for, however, emergency services have attended to seven employees for shock.

In a statement, Eskom says Unit four has been on a short-term outage when the incident occurred and all the work on the unit has been suspended with immediate effect.

The incident has also caused Unit five to trip, and work to return the unit to service is under way.

Last week Monday Eskom said Medupi has 50 years of planned operational life, but there are still glaring concerns about cost overruns counted into hundreds of billions of rands.

Government recently confirmed that Medupi will be operational in two years:

But it will only reliably deliver power to the national grid at full capacity in the next 24 months.

Eskom describes the completion of Unit one as an investment that will serve generations of the people of South Africa and power the economy for at least the next half-century.

It says Unit one was first synchronised to the national grid on 27 August 2019 and reached the full load of 794 MW on 05 December 2019.

It also contributed intermittent power to the country’s electricity supply.

“The planned life of this power station is 50 years. Eskom applauds team  Medupi and support teams for working tirelessly, for working to ensure that the unit is handed over for commercial operations as planned by the end of July. This is an investment that will serve generations of the people of South Africa,” says Eskom’s spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

But partner at Mining and Energy advisors, Ted Blom says Eskom has no reason to celebrate as more still needs to be done.