Silo collapse blamed for load-shedding

PHOTO_MAJUBA_02112014

Mpumalanga, 02 November 2014 An image has emerged on social media of one of the coal silos at the Majuba Power Station, which has collapsed. Eskom had originally said a silo was cracked.

Mpumalanga, 02 November 2014 An image has emerged on social media of one of the coal silos at the Majuba Power Station, which has collapsed. Eskom had originally said a silo was cracked.

PHOTO_MAJUBA_02112014

Mpumalanga, 02 November 2014 An image has emerged on social media of one of the coal silos at the Majuba Power Station, which has collapsed. Eskom had originally said a silo was cracked.

Mpumalanga, 02 November 2014 An image has emerged on social media of one of the coal silos at the Majuba Power Station, which has collapsed. Eskom had originally said a silo was cracked.

JOHANNESBURG - The coal storage silo at Eskom&39;s Majuba power station in Mpumalanga has collapsed, the parastatal said on Sunday.

"The silo ruptured or cracked and so employees were evacuated... and it just collapsed," Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger said.

"The conveyer belt systems, which feeds coal to the power station, were damaged and therefore we can&39;t get coal into the power station."

Residents in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and Tshwane have to contend with power cuts on Sunday because Eskom lost 1800MW.

Eskom said it would start rolling blackouts countrywide on Sunday due to a loss of capacity at its Majuba power station in Mpumalanga.

The outages could last the rest of the week, Eskom warned.

A crack in a coal storage silo on Saturday afternoon caused the loss of 1800MW, it said in a statement. The power shortage was expected to last the entire week and blackouts would happen between 8am and 10pm.

The silo, which stores over 10,000 tons of coal, cracked on Saturday afternoon. This affected coal supplies to all six units at the power station. It was currently generating only 1300MW.

According to the Sustainable Energy Society of SA, Majuba accounts for 10 percent of Eskom&39;s power generation capacity.

City Power had been asked to cut back on 460MW, Johannesburg&39;s power utility said in a statement.

 

The Ekurhuleni municipality said Eskom had asked it to help reduce the load on its electricity network.

"Since 8.30am this morning, the [municipality] has been undertaking this load reduction exercise by following the load shedding schedules available on the municipality&39;s website," it said in a statement.

 

The power cut schedules were on City Power and Eskom&39;s websites.

The City of Tshwane received a similar request from the national power utility.