Carol Paton Editor at Large

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan told parliament’s public enterprises committee on Wednesday that he intends to hold responsible those who contributed to the design flaws of Eskom’s mega-power stations Medupi and Kusile. The coal-fired power stations were intended to alleviate SA’s tight electricity supply system but cost and time overruns, as well as design and technical problems, have meant that only four of 12 units have been completed, which operate at about 40% to 50% efficiency. Gordhan said that he had been told by Eskom that the design of Medupi had been changed mid-stream resulting in design and technical flaws that impeded its operation. Eskom recently informed the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) of a raft of design and technical flaws with the boilers, including the cooling, ash collection and air-capture systems. The flaws have resulted in frequent tripping and breakdowns, and the need for excessive maintenance. “It is crucial that we understand what ha...

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