Cape Town – Eskom says it has safely removed a 320-ton steam generator at its Koeberg Power Station’s Unit One in Cape Town.
This forms part of the government’s Energy Action Plan Intervention One, which aims to ensure that all power stations are well maintained and working optimally to prevent further decline in Eskom’s energy availability.
The Koeberg team will now remove the remaining two steam generators to instal three new ones, a move set to extend Koeberg’s lifespan by another 20 years.
Currently, only Unit One is offline for maintenance and steam generator replacement.
“The logistics of moving the steam generators from their installed position (vertical), out of containment (horizontal at an elevation of 20m) to placing them on a flatbed transporter (horizontal) can only be appreciated if one understands the size and weight of each steam generator,
“Each of them is 22m tall (that’s a six-storey building), with a diameter of 4.5m (top half) and 3.5m (bottom half) and they each weigh over 320 tons (a Boeing 747 weighs between 150 and 220 tons, depending on its configuration),” Eskom said.
[Read] In the next two weeks, starting today, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr @Kgosientsho_R will be visiting all 14 Eskom power stations to engage with the management, workers, and unions @Eskom_SA #LeaveNoOneBehind https://t.co/mlVZYH5TuJ pic.twitter.com/Ymk5EONxxR
— @SAgovnews (@SAgovnews) March 20, 2023
In support of the application to extend the plant life by 20 years, the steam generators are the last large component to ensure Koeberg can operate safely for the requested additional period, said Eskom.
However, civil society group Koeberg Alert Alliance has criticised the move and called on the government to refocus on renewable energy rather than extending Koeberg beyond its original 2024 expiry date.
The alliance questioned whether running Koebeg for another 20 years was worth it owing to the additional nuclear waste that will be produced.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Electricity, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, will be visiting all 14 Eskom power stations across the country to engage with the management, workers, and unions.
Ramokgopa’s primary responsibility is to turn around the performance of existing power stations and stabilise the energy supply, while adding new capacity to the grid.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe