By Kaya 959 News
Eskom has suspended several employers following an explosion at the Medupi Power Station.
Eskom spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, said the explosion occurred on the Unit 4 generator just before 11pm on Sunday.
He said a generator was extensively damaged.
“Fortunately no injuries were sustained by personnel who were on-site during the unfortunate incidents,” he said.
The incident comes less than a week after Eskom announced the completion of the Medupi Power Station.
Mantshantsha said the incident occurred during the activity to displace hydrogen with carbon dioxide and air respectively, for the purposes of finding an external leak.
“Following the power station preliminary investigation, it appears that while performing this activity air was introduced into the generator at a point where hydrogen was still present in the generator at sufficient quantities to create an explosive mixture, which ignited and resulted in the explosion.
“It also appears that there was a deviation from the procedure for carrying out this activity,” he said.
Mantshantsha said, “Eskom has undertaken to place those employees who were responsible to manage and execute this work under precautionary suspension pending the conclusion of the Major Event Investigation”.
“Investigations are underway into the cause of the incident and Eskom will update the public on developments, as well as to what extent this unfortunate incident will impact the national electricity grid.”
Last week, Eskom’s Bheki Nxumalo said the 4 764MW project began in May 2007. The planned operational life of the station is 50 years.
Nxumalo said it was an investment that will serve South Africa and power the economy for at least the next half-century.
“The unit was officially declared commercial after the completion of the unit optimisation, control demonstration, as well as the 72-hour and the 30-day reliability run, which have put all performance guarantees to effect.
“Since the construction of the project, Eskom has been working with the nearby communities in the Limpopo province.”
More than 4 600 artisans, technicians, engineers and managers were formally trained by our contractors, exceeding Eskom’s local skills development target of 3 071.
Over 60% of the beneficiaries were local residents and from Limpopo province.