Eskom has further delayed the synchronisation of Medupi coal-fired power station – unit 6. Following an array of technical difficulties and labour disruptions, the latest set- back has been attributed to the fact that the remaining steps in the synchronisation process necessitates ‘critical critical assessment of the inherent risks to both safety of people and the equipment integrity before proceeding to stage’ said the SA Government News Agency.
Before unit 6 is synchronized, which Eskom spokesperson, Andrew Etzinger has forecasted to be ‘before the end of February’, an extensive cleaning process is to be conducted to ensure optimal performance of the boiler via chemical flushing followed by steam blow-through to minimize ‘disturbance factors inside the various elements of the boiler.’
The budget for the 794MW unit has increased by R13.8 billion but is expected to be revised taking into account recent improvements. Synchronization of unit 6 has been delayed by more than 12 months; however, Etzinger expects it to be fully operational by winter this year.
Eskom continues to urge electricity consumers to reduce their usage to alleviate the pressure on the grid.