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Eskom remains tight-lipped over Koeberg General Manager’s suspension

Published Aug 11, 2021

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Cape Town - Eskom has remained tight-lipped on the suspension of the Koeberg Power Station general manager Velaphi Ntuli, saying the disciplinary investigation process was currently under way.

“Eskom can therefore not comment further on the matter at this point as the process is being concluded,” the ailing power utility said on Tuesday.

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Eskom announced Ntuli’s suspension in June when the country was hit with blackouts, saying one of its biggest generating units with a capacity of 900MW, Koeberg Unit 1, had been out of commission since January, and could have assisted in reducing the depth of power cuts if it been brought back on time as originally planned.

Commenting on Tuesday, Eskom said: “Both Koeberg units are online, after Unit 1 was safely returned to service on June 16 2021, and Unit 2 has been online for 293 days since returning from its previous refuelling outage.”

This development comes as Eskom suspended some employees after an explosion at the Medupi Power Station, resulting in extensive damage to the generator on Sunday.

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The incident at Unit 4 occurred during a procedure 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,” said Eskom.

Cape Times

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