http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.81Change: 0.07
R/$ = 12.50Change: 0.06
Au 1094.52 $/ozChange: -0.83
Pt 985.00 $/ozChange: 2.00
 
 
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 Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Apr 04, 2013

Medupi is a tragedy

Back
Construction|Engineering|Natal|Africa|Alstom|Diesel|Eskom|Fire|Gas|General Engineering|Hitachi|PROJECT|Steinmüller|System|Turbines|Westfordhouse|Africa|South Africa|United Kingdom|United States|Wales|Eskom Power Station|Medupi Power Station|Boiler Control Software|Kalk Bay|Power|Turbines|Diesel |Flash
Construction|Engineering||Africa|Diesel|Eskom|Fire|Gas|PROJECT|System|Turbines||Africa|||||Power|Turbines|
construction|engineering|natal|africa-company|alstom|diesel-company|eskom|fire|gas|general-engineering-company|hitachi|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|power|turbines-person|diesel|flash-technology
© Reuse this



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
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Terry Mackenzie-Hoy News
Herman Charles Bosman was a great South African writer. When he was young, he was sent to Pretoria Central prison to serve a sentence after being convicted of murder. He wrote a book called, Cold Stone Jug, about his experiences.
Four years ago, I went fishing on the Zambezi river. I fished off a boat that travelled from an island – from a camp called Sekoma Island Lodge. When our group arrived, we got the standard talk by the guide. He told us that (apart from fishing, chuckle) we could go...
Article contains comments
Professor Philip Lloyd works at the Energy Institute at the Cape Peninsula University of technology. He recently sent me a copy of a paper he had written, entitled 'An Assessment of the Impact of Wind Energy on Energy Supply'. The paper addresses a number of concerns...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 2 hours 45 minutes ago Not only were new oil and gas (O&G) discoveries in East Africa a catalyst for investment into road, rail and pipeline infrastructure, but they also contributed to the region’s economic growth, with growth of 5.5% projected for this year and an estimated 6% to 7% for...
Updated 3 hours ago Transnet has won the 2014 Nkonki State-Owned Company (SOC) Integrated Reporting Award for the best performer. Assurance and advisory firm Nkonki on Wednesday released the findings of its 2015 review of integrated reporting by South African SOCs. The report, titled...
Updated 3 hours ago Leading water scientists say it is no longer debatable that South Africa is experiencing a water crisis given that there are already serious problems in supplying enough water of sufficient quality to meet the country’s social and economic needs. CSIR researchers...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 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.
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 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.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 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
Meyerton-based steel tank manufacturer Structa Technology is currently rolling out a water infrastructure build programme that supports local municipalities, water utilities, schools, hospitals and clinics.
Alternative funding models could be expected to begin coming to the fore in South Africa’s renewable-energy sector as the market becomes more competitive and domestic development finance institutions (DFIs) begin scaling back their direct involvement in projects....
DIMITRI MARKOULIDES An innovation champion must involve employees in innovation projects and keep them updated to enable them to support and drive innovation and create the future of the business
An innovation champion course that trains executives to manage innovation in their organisations aims to help companies grow revenue streams and tap new markets, says business change management consultancy BMGI South Africa innovation practice lead Dimitri...
Future digital workplaces will require employees to continuously learn new “literacies”, including new media, information and technical skills, to help their company thrive and spur personal growth. Information technology (IT) research firm Gartner, thus, suggests...
Only 25% of large construction projects surveyed in KPMG’s Global Construction Project Owner’s Survey, released in June, were concluded on time and within budget over the last three years. “Every project owner wants predictability when it comes to large projects, 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 $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96