Medupi explosion: What happened and what effect will it have on Eskom’s power supply?

 Medupi explosion: What happened and what effect will it have on Eskom’s power supply?

Medupi explosion: What happened and what effect will it have on Eskom’s power supply?

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Overview

A week ago, Eskom announced the completion of the Medupi power station after 14 challenging years of construction and an estimated R135 billion in overall cost. On the evening of July 8, a blast was heard coming from the Medupi power station by nearby communities and locals quickly raised the alarm. Energy expert, Chris Yelland, explained that Unit 4 at Medupi was down for maintenance.

Cause of the explosion and further investigation

While the maintenance team purged hydrogen gas from the generator, there was a hydrogen explosion that should not have occurred.

In preliminary investigations conducted by Eskom, it was found that air was introduced into the generator to try and identify any external leaks while a significant amount of hydrogen was still present in the system. This is what led to the explosion, and it resulted in extensive damage to the generator.

In addition to the explosion, another Unit at the power station recently tripped as well, adding to the doubt concerned with Medupi’s reliability, despite the amount of money spent and the years that it took to complete the power station.

There were no injuries following the explosion and emergency services were quick to attend to seven employees who needed treatment for shock. Eskom has since suspended the employees who were on duty after the explosion and all work on Unit 4 has been suspended. The area was secured and cleared by the fire chief as well as the resident engineers, with inspections and assessments underway to determine the exact cause of the incident and the extent of damage caused by the explosion.

As a result of the explosion, the Medupi power station has lost 1440 megawatts of generation capacity. However, despite this, Eskom has assured South Africans that the explosion should not result in any load-shedding.

Liezel Thorne

Liezel is a content writer with a passion for writing about the financial industry and corresponding markets. Her favorite topics include Forex, Stocks and Indices, Cryptocurrencies, and anything relating to trading technology – news, newest and latest tips, tricks, and trends. She has done extensive reviews on brokers, trading platforms (web, desktop, and mobile), and various other concepts involved with trading. As a student of Environmental management, she has a keen interest in geography, environmentalism as well as conservation of both fauna and flora.

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