Breaking: Eskom’s newest power plant is defective

It would appeal the set back facing Eskom continues, despite effort to fix things.

Report has it that one of South Africa’s newest power plants, designed to supply the grid during peak-use periods, is defective and has been limited to operate at lower capacity.

The deepest power cuts in more than a decade imposed by cash-strapped, state-owned Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. this month reduced the chances of the continent’s most-industrialized economy posting a stronger recovery from last year’s recession. Eskom is battling to meet demand and is considered one of the country’s biggest risks.

The Ingula pumped-storage project, a hydropower plant, was completed two years ago as part of the government’s program to boost generation capacity, was designed to provide at least 1,332 megawatts during periods of peak demand. However, two of its four units haven’t been operating as they are in a “defects-correction period,” Eskom said in an emailed response to questions.

“A defect has been identified on all four units and registered with the contractor,” which is Voith Siemens Hydro–Voith Fuji Hydro Consortium, the utility said. The units have been “derated” to 245 megawatts when multiple units are running, it said. That means that when all units are operational the plant is running at least 25 percent below its installed capacity.


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