Majuba coal silo collapses and pushes grid to the edge

1-2 Nov 2014

  • A coal silo at Majuba power station collapsed, which seems to lead to disruption with 1800 of its 3842 MW.
  • Majuba had problems with coal seams earlier, but its 3843 MW capacity had been running at 97% average availability over the last three years; according to Eskom.
  • Eskom announced 8752MW “unplanned outages” last week. With another 1800 MW at Majuba out, about 25% of its power stations are broken
  • Anton Eberhard has suggested commission on inquiry as Eskom can’t fix the power crisis; http://gsblive.uct.ac.za/projects/drop/upload/BDlive%200210.pdf
  • Rolling black-outs from 2 Nov indicated on Reuters
  • Eskom CEO presented the plan, with some load-shedding, using mobile conveyor belts, to bring the station back on line; load-shedding more limited that suggested by Reuters http://www.eskom.co.za/news/Documents/141102_MajubaFINAL.pdf
    • “While the system is tight, this unplanned incident exacerbated the situation and it is very likely that load shedding will continue for the week”
    • Investigation under way; mobile coal feeders on site; Minister of DPE being informed
    • “Eskom apologises to all electricity consumers but call on you yet again to switch off unnecessary lights, the geyser, pool pump and air-conditioning”
    • Load shedding schedules on website (here for Cape Town)
    • “painfully aware” of impact of incident