R/€ = 15.16Change: -0.03
R/$ = 13.35Change: -0.02
Au 1156.06 $/ozChange: -2.88
Pt 981.00 $/ozChange: 2.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Feb 14, 2003

Lack of maintenance likely cause of Duvha explosion

© Reuse this It appears likely that a lack of maintenance led to the explosion at Eskom’s Duvha power station last month, but the South African power utility has not confirmed this.

Unit Two of the Duvha power station, some 15 km from Witbank, in Mpumalanga, was in the process of being returned to service after an outage, when a fire broke out on the turbo-generator on the morning of January 8.

However, it seems that a month later, the investigation into the incident has not yielded any conclusive findings.

No one was injured in the fire and Eskom spokesperson Tony Stott said at the time that there was no interruption to the electricity supply.

The 600MW unit was said to be stable in shutdown conditions and Eskom authorities launched a technical investigation into the incident.

At the time of the fire, Stott said it would take about a week before investigators could determine the cause of the explosion and the extent of the damage.

Since then, numerous attempts to contact Stott have failed.

The Solidarity Trade Union, which presents some 7 000 Eskom employees, told Engineering News Online this week that it is involved in the Eskom probe, but that the cause of the explosion is still unknown.

“Nothing formal has yet emerged from the investigation, but there are two main issues that the union is querying at this stage,” said Solidarity spokesperson Dirk Hermann.

He said that the union is concerned about the fact that the maintenance of the power station had been outsourced by Eskom and, as a result, the regularity of inspections carried out at Duvha.

“Though the cause has not yet been established, we are arguing that a maintenance problem could have caused the fire. It is actually incredible that no one was hurt in the explosion, because it was big,” Hermann added.

“We are also concerned that the problem could also affect other units and we’ve asked Eskom to conduct thorough inspections at all their stations.

Last month, Solidarity also speculated that the repairs to the unit could run into some R2-billion and take between two and four years to complete.

No official confirmation of any of these allegations could be obtained from the power utility.

It is also not clear what action Eskom would take to prevent such incidents from recurring and it is also not known if any action would be taken against the company tasked with performing the maintenance.

The last unit at the Duvha power station, which cost some R1,6-billion to build, came into operation in 1984. The station employs 900 people and its mine boasts the largest open-cast colliery in the Southern Hemisphere.

Duvha became the first power station in the world to be retrofitted with pulse jet fabric filter plants on three of its six units in 1993. Eskom says these plants contribute largely to the reduction of air pollution by removing 99,99% of the fly ash which otherwise would be released into the air through the station's chimneys.
Edited by: Martin Czernowalow
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
It is “nonsensical” to compare South Africa’s nuclear ambitions with Germany’s mission to scrap nuclear in favour of renewable energy, according to the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa). German ambassador to SA Walter Lindner told delegates at the...
Airbus E-Fan
Airbus is working on using electricity as a means to power aircraft. This was highlighted on Friday by Airbus Defence and Space VP and Head of Disruptive Innovation Jan van Toor. He was talking at the Fifth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Conference in...
A union’s threat of causing a “total blackout” in the greater Johannesburg area this month would be an act of sabotage, City Power said on Thursday. The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) told the City of Johannesburg’s power utility that it would go on a...
Article contains comments
Latest News
South African Airways (SAA) has enhanced its partnership with the airline’s in-flight duty-free concessionaire Tourvest Inflight Retail Services (TIRS), enabling Voyager members to earn miles when buying duty-free products and spend their miles when shopping for...
South Africa's new visa regulations are having an adverse impact on the country's tourism industry without proof that they are making any impact on child trafficking, according to Hussein Dabbas, International Air Traffic Association (Iata) regional vice-president...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a semi-autonomous solution for early pothole detection to potentially replace the often time-consuming expensive manual road inspection. Showcasing the Visual Surveying Platform (VSP), CSIR...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
BUSINESS LEADERS PANEL Adam Craker, Ivor Chipkin, Alan Hosking and Allon Raiz at the 6th IQ Business Active Growth conference
At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
ASHER BOHBOT EOH’s corporate goals were originally aspirations, but the company is relevant and is making a difference in the territories it operates in
As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...
International heavy-equipment engine manufacturer Cummins’ regional distribution centre (RDC) in Woodmead, Gauteng, has halved the average logistics distribution time for clients in Southern Africa and allowed for critical or long-lead stock to be kept closer to...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96