Friday, 17 March 2023: Eskom notes and welcomes the decision by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy, to grant the organisation an exemption from certain requirements in terms of its application to build temporary stacks at Kusile Power Station. This is following the failure of the Unit 1 flue gas duct on 22 October 2022. The failure at Unit 1 subsequently affected units 2 and 3 as the ducts for all these three units are welded together.
The exemption given does not provide Eskom approval to operate the temporary stacks. The exemption allows Eskom to submit its application to operate the stacks based on presently available information and with a reduced public participation process. Based on the exemption provided by the Minister, Eskom intends to submit its final application for approval to operate the temporary stacks, to the relevant authorities in April 2023.
Approval of the final application means Eskom will be able to operate the three units without the use of the Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FDG) mechanism, which is an emission-abatement technology, for a period of 13 months while the flue gas ducts are being repaired. The repair of the damaged stacks will be completed by December 2024 and during this time the necessary steps will be implemented to mitigate the impact of SO2 emissions on air quality.
As previously communicated, the temporary structure will be completed by end November 2023. This will enable the return of 2 100MW, further alleviating pressure on the power system and reducing loadshedding by almost two stages.
Eskom will comply with the conditions of the exemption.