Medupi subcontractor blamed for delay

2013-07-26 16:23

A subcontractor connected to Hitachi Power Africa is believed to be behind the delay in completing the first phase of the Medupi Power Station, the DA has said.

It said this emerged from a two-day oversight visit to the Limpopo project by Parliament’s public enterprises portfolio committee.

“MPs on the visit were informed that a Hitachi Power Africa subcontractor was responsible for the faulty welding on the boilers,” DA MP Natasha Michael said today.

Michael said officials from Hitachi had told MPs the subcontractor had misled both Eskom and Hitachi into believing that quality control tests on the boilers had been conducted.

“This was not done. As a result, all the welds on the boiler in unit six had to be rechecked and many replaced,” she said.

The name of the subcontractor was not revealed during the visit.

“South Africans deserve to know which entity is responsible for faulty service delivery and misleading both Eskom and the country as a whole,” Michael said.

The DA, however, welcomed the fact that criminal charges were laid against the company.

The party would ask Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba to confirm the name of the subcontractor in a parliamentary question.

Chancellor House, the investment arm of the ruling ANC, has a 25% stake in Hitachi, which has been awarded the boiler tender for Medupi.

Michael said other reasons cited for the delays were the failure of French company Alstom to ensure software for the plant’s operating system was working, and labour unrest.

“Alstom is responsible for the control and instrumentation system at the plant. Many of the other contractors have now completed their work and await this system to become operational.”

On the continuing wildcat strikes, Michael said: “The committee met organised labour and was informed that despite various mechanisms and agreements put in place, the implementation and communication between Eskom, contractors, and organised labour remain problematic.”

Michael would ask that Gigaba be summoned to appear before Parliament’s public enterprises committee to receive a report from MPs, and address them on their concerns.

Earlier this month, Eskom said in a statement the new power station would probably begin contributing to the national grid only in the second half of next year. The previous target was December.

The Medupi power station is a new dry-cooled, coal-fired power station being built by Eskom near Lephalale in Limpopo.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.