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Eskom postpones replacement of Koeberg steam generators to avoid risk of load shedding



Eskom has decided to postpone the replacement of three steam generators (SGR) at the Koeberg power plant until next year to avoid the risk of an impact on electricity supply and generation capacity.

This was announced Friday by chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer during an update on the malfunction of the Koeberg Power Station unit 2.

The Koeberg Power Station unit 2 was shut down on January 18, 2022 due to a fuel and maintenance outage, including the replacement of the three steam generators on the unit.

Oberholzer said Eskom and the main contractor, Framatome, conducted a final assessment to ensure that the SGR work would be completed to expected levels of quality and in accordance with the failure schedule.

He said the assessment concluded there is a high probability that the unit will be returned to the grid later than currently planned.

“So we decided to move this project from replacing the three steam generators to about August next year. This is to avoid the risk that the electricity supply will be affected during the high winter demand and wind period, which will start relatively soon, in late April and May.”

Eskom said the delay will not affect the safe operation of the Koeberg nuclear power plant or the power company’s life extension plan for Koeberg, which requires the replacement of the steam generators on both units.

“After the current failure during regular maintenance refueling, Unit 2 of the Koeberg power plant will therefore be put back into operation in June 2022. This is intended to reduce the pressure on the rest of the generation capacity and the impact of load shedding.”

The power company said the safe and reliable operation of the two nuclear units consistently plays an important role in adding stability to the grid.

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