Koeberg turbines are correct one other Eskom scam – Chris Yelland
Eskom has been in the spotlight, as soon as extra, as the Zondo Commission persevered its protest attach shut inquiry into its board and the dismissal of three senior participants. Quite loads of whistle blowers bear stepped ahead to shine a light on cases of corruption. Really, previous Eskom head of correct and compliance Suzanne Daniels mentioned subtle manipulation to award contracts to folks pleasant to ANC participants was as soon as the norm, and orders from the ministry of public enterprises on how Eskom industry might perhaps perhaps also tranquil be performed took draw on a on each day basis basis. Vitality expert Chris Yelland delves into the shadowy waters surrounding the Koeberg nuclear energy area, and the contract awarded to French contractor, Areva, under fishy terms. – Claire Badenhorst
Steam turbines for Koeberg: the most pricey transport of scrap steel in the historical previous of humankind
By Chris Yelland*
The birth of the well-known of six fresh steam turbines by Areva final week to lengthen the life of Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear energy area finds but one other scam at Eskom, perpetrated through the depraved leadership of Brian Molefe, Matshela Koko and the dodgy Eskom board at the time.
On the root of a 3-month shorter birth time, the R5bn steam generator replacement contract was as soon as in a roundabout arrangement awarded to French protest-owned nuclear contractor, Areva, who after working into financial difficulties, for the time being are controlled by French nationwide electricity utility, Electricite dé France (EDF).
This followed an prolonged High Court, Appeal Court and Constitutional Court combat in South Africa, during which Westinghouse (in a roundabout arrangement unsuccessfully) tried to inform the irregular contract award to Areva on the root that the claimed urgency of the life-extension was as soon as deliberately contrived by Eskom in protest to wrongfully award the contract to Areva.
On the time when Koeberg was as soon as constructed between 1976 and 1985, Framatome (the predecessor to Areva) manufactured the two 900 MW nuclear reactors and the six associated steam turbines at Koeberg, the usage of designs licenced from Westinghouse.
Each and every Eskom and Areva claimed that it was as soon as absolutely severe for real operation of the ability plant and for security of electricity provide in South Africa that the steam turbines might perhaps perhaps also tranquil be in a roundabout arrangement modified through the so-called “X23” outage at Koeberg in 2018.
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This was as soon as cited by Eskom as the reason of awarding the contract to Areva, the set up an allegedly contrived three-month “drift” in Areva’s mission idea was as soon as indicated as the deciding component. This despite Westinghouse having met the total technical and industrial requirements, with a lower contract worth, and a guarantee to fulfill the 2018 completion date on disaster of enormous penalties.
Nonetheless, all has now no longer gone successfully for Areva in executing the mission.
Areva is mentioned to bear skilled severe manufacturing quality concerns with the steam generator forgings in France. In investigate cross-take a look at of the claimed time criticality of the mission, to resolve these disorders Eskom and Areva agreed that the uncompleted forgings might perhaps perhaps be air-freighted to China the set up an Areva “companion” would total the originate.
Interestingly, every of the six steam generator forgings required the hiring of a Russian Antonov freighter plane (six flights in total) to flit the forgings from France to China. Nonetheless, in step with an impeccable source, after taking a nearer witness at the forgings, Areva’s Chinese companion determined to scrap them and originate all but again from scratch.
One can most effective speculate as to why it was as soon as now no longer even handed much less pricey for Areva to flit engineers from the Chinese producer to France to ogle the steam generator forgings, barely than flying all six steam turbines to China for the inspection, ahead of them being scrapped in China.
A previous senior nuclear executive at Eskom commented to this author at the time that: “This was as soon as the most pricey transport of scrap steel in the historical previous of humankind”.
Eskom has since confirmed to EE Industry Intelligence final week that: “The forgings did now no longer meet the expected quality standards and might perhaps perhaps also now no longer be permitted, and therefore they bear been scrapped by the contractor at their very have worth”.
In step with Eskom, the contractual birth date of all six steam turbines was as soon as February 2018, with the contractual completion date for the replacement of all six steam turbines being the halt of 2019.
Nonetheless, with the total delays in the mission, at the side of restarting originate of the steam turbines from scratch in China, birth of the well-known three steam turbines for Unit 1 at Koeberg is most effective initiating now in September 2020, with these for Unit 2 most effective scheduled for birth in the third quarter of 2021.
Read additionally: Chris Yelland: Musical chairs at protest nuclear company – might perhaps perhaps also tranquil axed Necsa CEO be re-hired?
Referring to the particular replacement of the steam turbines, Eskom now says that: “Installation is aligned with the outages scheduled for 2021 and 2022 respectively for the two Koeberg reactor items (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 reason of placing a costlier contract with Areva.
While now no longer answering particular questions about the worth overruns coming up for the mission, Eskom insists that: “The estimated worth-to-completion for the mission is through the distinctive budget licensed in 2014”. Pointless to speak, here is now no longer very principal, since the distinctive budget licensed in 2014 is now no longer disclosed, and might perhaps perhaps even bear been vastly better that the contract worth.
Nonetheless, it appears to be like clear that Eskom has for sure paid a top rate for the replacement by Areva of the steam turbines at Koeberg on the root of a claimed three-month shorter completion time, when for sure completion shall be some three years longer.
It’s an damaged-down trick, nonetheless it absolutely clearly tranquil works.
- Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Industry Intelligence.
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