Kilometres of boiler tube leaks 'are biting us big time' says Eskom COO

South Africans are still experiencing rotational load shedding as Eskom tries to deal with its power supply problems.

Load shedding escalated from Stage Two to Stage Four over the weekend and looks set to continue for the coming days.

Eskom COO, Jan Oberholzer says the destruction to the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric system in Mozambique which has been affected by a powerful cyclone has caused Eskom to lose about 1000 MW.

Read: Diminishing emergency energy reserves a major problem - Dept Pub Enterprises

Because of the weather, we couldn't get access but yesterday we used a helicopter and saw that one of the towers is down and four others have snapped.

Jan Oberholzer, Eskom COO

Today we will travel to see what the damage on the other line is... It's a severe permanent fault.

Jan Oberholzer, Eskom COO

Oberholzer says it also found that there are severe boiler tube leaks that continue for kilometers and this has caused eight units to be down.

He acknowledges that the tube leaks are caused by years of poor maintenance to the boilers.

This means within the boiler, we have kilometres of pipes and we have developed holes and those are biting us big time and we have eight units currently down just on boiler tube leaks. That's about 4 000 MW down because of tube leaks.

Jan Oberholzer, Eskom COO

We have teams dealing with this but it is obviously going to take time.

Jan Oberholzer, Eskom COO

He says that fixing of the boilers is complex and requires time. This means that Stage 4 will continue and when some units come back online on Thursday, it will shift back to Stage 2.

Eskom is still dealing with contractual issues for Medupi and Kusile power stations. The two power stations were supposed to be adding 4 000 MW to the grid but failing due to “design defects”.

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Kilometres of boiler tube leaks 'are biting us big time' says Eskom COO


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