Collapse of Eskom power stations in photos

 ·9 Mar 2024

Eskom’s performance has collapsed thanks to its overly complex management system, inadequate maintenance, and low staff morale. This collapse can be seen in photos of the utility’s poorly run coal-fired power stations.

The photos and feedback are from the German consultancy group VGBE Energy, which the National Treasury commissioned to analyse the performance of Eskom’s coal-fired power plants and recommend ways to improve them.

The German engineers, who have extensive experience running coal-fired power plants, spent four and a half months studying South Africa’s ailing power utility.

They went through Eskom’s coal fleet, plant by plant, to determine what changes the utility should make to improve the performance of the individual stations.

They pointed to several overarching issues, such as Eskom’s complex management system, inadequate maintenance, and low staff morale, as reasons why the utility’s performance has declined.

Another factor is the general incompetence and lack of ability to implement theoretical knowledge in practice.

However, the report said that most of the issues “relating to the low Energy Availability Factor (EAF) can be attributed to a single root cause.”

“The management system with its governance, structure and processes is dysfunctional and too complex.”

Eskom has too many organisational layers and unclear decision-making processes. This generates a tremendous amount of red tape and a lack of accountability, they said.

“Eskom’s generation fleet has been trapped within this complex management system for so long that it is no longer able to maintain or improve the technical performance of the coal-fired plants.”

The report included many photos that illustrated the lack of maintenance and general housekeeping of Eskom’s coal-fired power plants, showing just how far the utility’s once-high standards have fallen.

Arnot Power Station

Example of poor housekeeping at Arnot Power Station
Examples of steam and water leakages in Arnot’s boiler house
Removed filling of Arnot’s cooling tower

Camden Power Station

Valve leakages in Camden’s boiler house
Turbine with cracked spray insulation at Camden power plant
Steam leakages on the lower floors of the Camden machinery house

Duvha Power Station

Leakages at Duvha boiler house
Leaking pump in Duvha’s boiler house

Grootvlei Power Station

Water leakages in Grootvlei’s dusty boiler house
Flooded and wet floors at Grootvlei

Kendal Power Station

Kendal Unit 2 – PAH duct covered in ash and dust (April 2023)
Back of Kendal’s boiler at ash handling plant. Ash was everywhere, with water covering the floor.
Kendal station was covered in a dust cloud in May 2022
Ash in Kendal’s boiler house

Kriel Power Station

Example of cracked plaster insulation at a pipe in Kriel’s boiler house
Water and steam leakages in Kriel’s boiler house

Kusile Power Station

Poor housekeeping at Kusile
Water logging in Kusile’s coal handling plant

Lethabo Power Station

Lethabo’s water treatment plant in May 2023

Majuba Power Station

Majuba boilers with a lot of dust due to bad housekeeping
Majuba’s ash extraction, emergency disposal – poor housekeeping
Coal mill at Majuba Unit 1 with patchy canals and overall bad condition
Soiled transformer at Majuba power plant – covered in grease and oil from the ACC fans

Matimba Power Station

Poor housekeeping in Matimba’s boiler house

Tutuka Power Station

Massive dust pollution at Tutuka’s boiler house
Water/oil leaking on instrumentation and electrical equipment at Tutuka
Water distribution and structure of a cooling tower at Tutuka
Poorly-cleaned turbine with cracked spray insulation at Tutuka
Tutuka’s tank room for turbine lube oil – with poor housekeeping

This article was first published by Daily Investor and reproduced with permission. Read the original here.

Read: Eskom kisses millions goodbye as 232 transformers get stolen in one year

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