7 February 2019

South Africa: Looking for Light At the End of the Dark Tunnel That Is Eskom's Coal-Fired Stations

opinion

New pressures on Eskom's generation plant performance and energy availability factor (EAF) are making themselves felt at Medupi, Kusile and a number of other coal-fired power stations, as a key Eskom contractor and service provider runs into severe financial difficulties.

It has been established that Clyde Bergemann Africa (CBZ) has been unable to pay the salaries and wages of its approximately 400 staff and workers for the month of January 2019. CBZ workers have downed tools and walked off site at Medupi and Kusile, where CDZ is the main contractor directly to Eskom Group Capital for the design, supply and installation of ash handling systems at the power plants.

These include the dense-phase pneumatic ash conveyors, which transport some 150 tons of fly-ash per hour for each generator unit, via 920m pipelines from the pulse-jet fabric filter (PJFF) plant to the ash dumps. These are said to be among the biggest ash handling units in the world.

In the meantime, Eskom has already announced significant design and performance problems, and premature failures, on the PJFF plant at Medupi and Kusile. The PJFF plant was supplied and installed by DB Thermal, a subcontractor to the boiler main contractor, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power...

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