http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 16.31Change: -16.14
R/$ = 14.22Change: -14.07
Au 1292.99 $/ozChange: 1.84
Pt 1079.50 $/ozChange: 3.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
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  
 
 
Apr 05, 2013

Medupi is a tragedy

Back
Construction|Natal|Africa|Alstom|Business|Diesel|Engineering|Eskom|Fire|Gas|General Engineering|Hitachi|Power|PROJECT|Steinmüller|System|Turbines|Westfordhouse|Africa|South Africa|United Kingdom|United States|Wales|Eskom Power Station|Medupi Power Station|Boiler Control Software|Kalk Bay|Turbines|Diesel |Flash
Construction||Africa|Business|Diesel|Engineering|Eskom|Fire|Gas|Power|PROJECT|System|Turbines||Africa|||||Turbines|
construction|natal|africa-company|alstom|business|diesel-company|engineering|eskom|fire|gas|general-engineering-company|hitachi|power|project|steinmller|system|turbines-company|westfordhouse|africa|south-africa|united-kingdom|united-states|wales|eskom-power-station|medupi-power-station|boiler-control-software|kalk-bay|turbines-person|diesel|flash-technology



Anews flash! This is breaking news: “The British Conservative Party has announced that it has bought a 25% shareholding in Westfordhouse, of the US. Subsequent to the purchase, Westfordhouse announced that it had been awarded the turbine contract for the new power station to be located at Nulla Talis Locus, in Wales. The Conservative Party denies that it influenced the decision in any way. These are the first turbines supplied by Westfordhouse in the UK. The Conservative Party estimates that its income from the deal will be £5-million. All previous turbines have been supplied by General Engineering.”

Okay, I made that all up. Let’s face it, if the British Conservative Party behaved in such a way, it would be a long time before they got into power again.

But, how about a true story: “The African National Congress (ANC) has announced that it has bought a 25% shareholding in Hitachi, South Africa. Subsequent to the purchase Hitachi announced that it had been awarded the boiler contract for the new Eskom power station to be located at Medupi. The ANC denies that it influenced the decision in any way. These are the first Eskom boilers supplied by Hitachi in RSA. The ANC estimates that its income from the deal will be £5-million. All previous Eskom boilers have been supplied by Steinmuller.”

The Medupi power station is a tragedy. It’s bad enough that the boiler contract award smells like a Kalk Bay fishing boat on a quiet day. But it has now been found that there a are a few thousand bad welds on the Hitachi boilers under construction. How many more of the boilers are badly made? Which brave soul will start one up the first time?

Further, Business Day reports that the performance bond of the French company, Alstom, has been called up by Eskom since the Alstom boiler control software has failed tests. Three times. Fail once, okay. But twice? Careless. Three times? Who will trust the fourth version?

I spoke to an ex-Eskom guy.

Oh, he said, he’d been at Medupi. Too corrupt for him, he said. Medupi is six months behind. If it’s not working in December, lights out.

To (hopefully) fix things, Eskom is sending their outgoing CFO, Paul O’Flaherty, to head up a team, including some UK project managers, to get the whole project on track.

Girls and guys, you have more chance of successfully turning a camel into a mechanical engineer. Try, do try. But come December, you have to have an alternative plan. It’s Dunkirk time and you’re going to have to rely on smaller alternatives.

My advice: get all the municipalities to make a list of the consumers in their areas which can generate from standby power to reduce load. In the Cape, there is about 300 MW of standby generation; in Gauteng, much more and KwaZulu-Natal also much more.

Get the municipalities to sign contracts with all those willing to synchronise and generate into the grid on demand. Then, when Medupi is not on line, get those contracts to be activated during a few peak hours each day, by text message or email.

Also, load-shed large consumers willing to be cut. This works as follows: when the grid is overloaded, the system frequency drops. When it reaches about 49 Hz, the consumer is tripped out. Compensation is paid in reduced electrical supply tariffs. This system was common in the early 1980s.

Still more things to do by way of a plan: buy some big gas turbines (this is bit of a misnomer as these don’t actually run on gas – they run on gasified fuel, such as diesel or heavy fuel oil. You can get them second hand by the dozen. Put them together as standby plant.

Still more: get those municipalities that have gas turbines that are not operational to fix them, such as the Cape Town Roggebaai turbines.

Finally. If Eskom hopes to get the Kusile power station up and running, it should do itself a favour. Get the Germans to build the boilers and boiler controls, fire the French and don’t have the ruling party as a shareholding subcontractor.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Terry Mackenzie-Hoy News
  I have an acquaintance in Cape Town who runs a business. The other day at a meeting he said something particularly rude and noticing the silence around him he said: “I am in business to make money, not friends.” We very often are told by way of advertising that...
I have just read an article by one Leo Smith. I do not know him. His article is called the 'Limitations of renewable energy' – and it is hard hitting.  Smith says of renewable energy: “It is against this backdrop of extreme emotional attachment to 'renewable energy'...
I have just finished reading a book by Admiral Lord Cochrane. I am quite sure that you have never heard of him, which is hardly surprising, since he died in 1860. The book he wrote is about his experiences in the Royal Navy. There are a number of interesting things...
More
 
 
Latest News
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa
Cabinet has extended the contract of Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) director-general Nosipho Ngcaba and approved the appointment of Limpho Makotoko as the new DEA COO.     “Under the leadership of Ngcaba, the DEA has consistently received clean and...
Mzwandile Masina
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has invited companies to participate in a trade and investment mission to Ghana and Nigeria from August 8 to 12.   Companies in the agriculture and agroprocessing sectors, built environment professionals, automotive and...
Cabinet has approved the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) 2016/17 to 2018/19, which seeks to achieve a higher-impact industrial policy in difficult economic circumstances, including the difficulties faced by the domestic steel industry and the drought which has...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
DOROS HADJIZENONOS The 700-series devices provide network security monitoring, app control, URL filtering, VPN security, antivirus, antispam, antibot, and advanced intrusion prevention and detection functionality
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
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
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149