Koeberg generators are lawful yet any other Eskom rip-off – Chris Yelland

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Koeberg generators are lawful yet any other Eskom rip-off – Chris Yelland

Koeberg generators are lawful yet any other Eskom rip-off – Chris Yelland

Eskom has been within the highlight, all over again, as the Zondo Payment persisted its bellow clutch inquiry into its board and the dismissal of three senior individuals. Several whistle blowers occupy improved to shine a gradual-weight on cases of corruption. If fact be told, feeble Eskom head of just and compliance Suzanne Daniels talked about comfy manipulation to award contracts to other folks pleasant to ANC individuals was the norm, and orders from the ministry of public enterprises on how Eskom commerce must composed be conducted took function on a on a regular basis basis. Vitality educated Chris Yelland delves into the sad waters surrounding the Koeberg nuclear vitality function, and the contract awarded to French contractor, Areva, under fishy terms. – Claire Badenhorst

Steam generators for Koeberg: the most costly transport of scrap metal within the history of humankind

By Chris Yelland*

The provision of the predominant of six unusual steam generators by Areva closing week to spice up the lifestyles of Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear vitality function presentations yet yet any other rip-off at Eskom, perpetrated right thru the immoral leadership of Brian Molefe, Matshela Koko and the dodgy Eskom board at the time.

Chris Yelland

On the root of a three-month shorter supply time, the R5bn steam generator replacement contract was in the end awarded to French bellow-owned nuclear contractor, Areva, who after running into monetary difficulties, are now managed by French national electricity utility, Electricite dé France (EDF).

This adopted a protracted High Court docket, Allure Court docket and Constitutional Court docket battle in South Africa, right thru which Westinghouse (sooner or later unsuccessfully) tried to venture the irregular contract award to Areva on the root that the claimed urgency of the lifestyles-extension was deliberately contrived by Eskom in describe to wrongfully award the contract to Areva.

On the time when Koeberg was constructed between 1976 and 1985, Framatome (the predecessor to Areva) manufactured the 2 900 MW nuclear reactors and the six linked steam generators at Koeberg, using designs licenced from Westinghouse.

Both Eskom and Areva claimed that it was fully fundamental for safe operation of the vitality plant and for security of electricity provide in South Africa that the steam generators must composed be in the end changed right thru the so-known as “X23” outage at Koeberg in 2018.

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This was cited by Eskom as the motive at the serve of awarding the contract to Areva, the place an allegedly contrived three-month “float” in Areva’s mission opinion was indicated as the deciding element. This despite Westinghouse having met the total technical and commercial necessities, with a lower contract ticket, and a guarantee to fulfill the 2018 completion date on effort of big penalties.

Nonetheless, all has no longer long past successfully for Areva in executing the mission.

Areva is talked about to occupy skilled serious manufacturing quality issues with the steam generator forgings in France. In ogle of the claimed time criticality of the mission, to resolve these issues Eskom and Areva agreed that the uncompleted forgings would be air-freighted to China the place an Areva “partner” would total the fabricate.

Curiously, each of the six steam generator forgings required the hiring of a Russian Antonov freighter plane (six flights in total) to waft the forgings from France to China. Nonetheless, in accordance with an impeccable supply, after taking a greater glance at the forgings, Areva’s Chinese partner made up our minds to scrap them and start again from scratch.

One can simplest speculate as to why it was no longer concept about more economical for Areva to waft engineers from the Chinese producer to France to appear the steam generator forgings, as against flying all six steam generators to China for the inspection, sooner than them being scrapped in China.

A feeble senior nuclear government at Eskom commented to this author at the time that: “This was the most costly transport of scrap metal within the history of humankind”.

Eskom has since confirmed to EE Industry Intelligence closing week that: “The forgings did no longer meet the anticipated quality standards and can no longer be approved, and therefore they occupy been scrapped by the contractor at their very procure ticket”.

In accordance with Eskom, the contractual supply date of all six steam generators was February 2018, with the contractual completion date for the replacement of all six steam generators being the tip of 2019.

Nonetheless, with the total delays within the mission, including restarting fabricate of the steam generators from scratch in China, supply of the predominant three steam generators for Unit 1 at Koeberg is simplest starting now in September 2020, with those for Unit 2 simplest scheduled for supply within the third quarter of 2021.

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Regarding the actual replacement of the steam generators, Eskom now says that: “Installation is aligned with the outages scheduled for 2021 and 2022 respectively for the 2 Koeberg reactor units (Unit 1 and Unit 2)”. No mention is now made by Eskom of the criticality for completion in 2018 cited by Eskom at the time as the motive at the serve of inserting a more costly contract with Areva.

Whereas no longer answering particular questions about the value overruns coming up for the mission, Eskom insists that: “The estimated ticket-to-completion for the mission is within the normal funds authorised in 2014”. Obviously, that is no longer very invaluable, for the reason that normal funds authorised in 2014 is no longer disclosed, and can just occupy been severely greater that the contract ticket.

Nonetheless, it appears to be like decided that Eskom has basically paid a top rate for the replacement by Areva of the steam generators at Koeberg on the root of a claimed three-month shorter completion time, when basically completion will be some three years longer.

It’s an historical trick, on the opposite hand it clearly composed works.

  • Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Industry Intelligence. 

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