Monday, 09 August 2021: Eskom wishes to inform the public that Unit 4, which was on a short-term outage (since 06 August 2021) of Medupi Power Station experienced an explosion on the Unit 4 generator at approximately 22h50 on 08 August 2021. This explosion has resulted in extensive damage to the generator.
The incident occurred during the activity to displace hydrogen with carbon dioxide and air respectively, for the purposes of finding an external leak. Fortunately no injuries were sustained by personnel who were on site during the unfortunate incidents.
Following the power station preliminary investigation, it appears that while performing this activity air was introduced into the generator at a point where hydrogen was still present in the generator at sufficient quantities to create an explosive mixture, which ignited and resulted in the explosion. It also appears that there was a deviation from the procedure for carrying out this activity.
As such Eskom has undertaken to place those employees who were responsible to manage and execute this work under precautionary suspension pending the conclusion of the Major Event Investigation.
Investigations are underway into the cause of the incident and Eskom will update the public on developments, as well as to what extent this unfortunate incident will impact the national electricity grid.