Utility makes contingency plans

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Eskom might bring in another company if French multinational Alstom failed to install software for the Medupi power plant’s boilers in time, the parastatal said yesterday.

“We have a contingency plan in place in case Alstom is not able to meet any of its milestones,” Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger said, noting that Eskom would not cancel its contract with Alstom, and would merely bring in another company to work alongside it.

“On the boiler protection software part of their work, we have noticed that Alstom is lagging behind,” he said. Eskom wanted the software installed by mid-2014.

He said if the back-up plan was used it would not cause further delays. Business Report reported yesterday that the parastatal could possibly dump Alstom’s contract for managing the computer programme that would manage Medupi’s six boilers.

The newspaper reported that Siemens was poised as Alstom’s possible replacement.

In October, Eskom said South Africa could expect electricity from coal-fired power stations Medupi by 2014.

The first of six 794 megawatt units at Medupi would produce electricity in the second half of 2014.

The rest of the units in both power stations would go online in eight-month intervals until completion in 2018, it said at the time. – Sapa

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