Question NW2023 to the Minister of Public Enterprises

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07 October 2021 - NW2023

Profile picture: Cachalia, Mr G K

Cachalia, Mr G K to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises

Whether Siemens (a) had withdrawn their warranty on the steam pipes they supplied to Medupi because the pipes had not been cleaned as prescribed before installation and (b) warned that the pipes could burst under the introduction of steam; if not, in each case, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; (2) Whether he has found that this was a major contributory cause to the explosion of 8 August 2021; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, for what reason was this allowed to happen under reliability maintenance; (3) (a) what is the (i) cost of and (ii) estimated time frame for repairs and (b) how will this cost be financed?


According to the information received from Eskom

(1)(a) and (b)

The incident is not related to the steam pipe / or steam generator as it occurred on the Electric Generator that is coupled to the steam turbine centreline through a Turbo Gen rotor. The Medupi Generators original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is General Electric (GE).


The 8th of August 2021 Medupi unit 4 generator failure incident is still under investigation, however, following the preliminary investigation, it appears that while performing the purging of hydrogen activity, air was introduced into the generator at a point where hydrogen was still present at sufficient quantities to create an explosive mixture. This is not related to the steam pipes or to issues with previous maintenance activities.


The final damage assessment will only be quantified once the all-turbine cylinders and the generator are fully stripped. The process underway is making the area safe to commence with stripping and internal inspections. The cost of repairs will be established once the contracts are placed as per detailed scope of work following damage assessments.


The repairs will depend on the extent of the damage and the long lead components to be replaced. It is safe to say that the repair duration will be in excess of one year.


Eskom has insurance cover for all its assets.

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