Kendal power station fire: No load shedding for now as 2 units return to service

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Eskom's Kendal Power Station.
Eskom's Kendal Power Station.
Bloomberg

Following a fire at its Kendal Power Station in Gauteng over the weekend, Eskom confirmed that load shedding will in all probability be averted.

Kendal Power Station's unit 3 returned to service on Monday afternoon and Unit 2 returned to service on Tuesday evening, according to Eskom.

This follows a controlled shutdown of these two units after a fire broke out in the power station's Unit 1 early on Saturday morning and damaged its generator transformer.

That unit will only return to service in November. Further investigations will be conducted to determine the root cause of the fire.

"While Eskom will be forced to increase diesel consumption, we do not anticipate that any load shedding will be implemented as a result of the incident. We urge members of the public to continue using electricity sparingly to assist the country," Eskom said in a statement on Monday morning.

Emergency generation typically involves using open-cycle gas turbines, which run on diesel. It is a very expensive way to generate power.

Kendal is one of the largest indirect dry-cooled power stations in the world, and uses significantly less water in its cooling processes compared to conventional power stations. The station has six 686 MW units. 

* This story was updated on Tuesday 14 September to reflect that Units 2 and 3 have returned to service. 

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