Ramokgopa on the way to Grootvlei after fire


Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Minister of Electricity, will visit the Grootvlei power station in Mpumalanga on Sunday afternoon to learn first hand about the fire that forced the power station to take a generating unit off line on Saturday.

The minister said during a media conference in Pretoria on Sunday that 190 MW was lost due to an “incident” at unit 2.

The minister has since been in contact with Bheki Nxumalo, head of generation at Eskom, and would leave for Grootvlei, one of Eskom’s oldest power stations, directly after this morning’s media conference to learn more about the incident.

“I want not only a written explanation and technical reports, but also a visual observation about the extent and degree of the damage, so that when I stand before the public, I am comfortable about the timelines we give regarding the return of that unit.”

The fire did not cause major damage and was not expected to have any impact on load shedding.

“But every megawatt counts,” Ramokgopa said this morning.

He is also concerned about the fires that break out at power stations.

“It’s not something that happens often, but it’s something we should all worry about when it happens.”

Concerns about Koeberg

The minister recently visited the Koeberg nuclear power plant in the Western Cape to try to understand why generating unit 1 of this power station has still not been brought online after more than 71 days (and 920 lost MW).

However, he is still waiting for the report that should explain the delay at Koeberg.

RNews previously reported that unit 1 would be put back into service in July, but is expected to be brought back online only in September or October.

However, Ramokgopa said this morning that he is convinced that it will take even longer.

“I remain extremely concerned about the situation at Koeberg.”

The minister said earlier that if unit 1 cannot be repaired before unit 2 has to be taken off line for similar renovation work, a massive 1,840 megawatts will be lost.

Each unit at Koeberg provides 920 MW of generation capacity.