Fire at Kendal Power Station damages one unit, two others shut down

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Kendal is regarded as one of the largest indirect dry-cooled power stations in the world. Pic: Gallo Images/Reuters
Kendal is regarded as one of the largest indirect dry-cooled power stations in the world. Pic: Gallo Images/Reuters

Eskom confirmed early on Saturday morning that a fire had broken out earlier at the Kendal Power Station in Gauteng.

It resulted in damage to the power station's unit one.

Unit 2 and Unit 3 experienced loss of vacuum and were shut down under controlled conditions. Eskom expects to return these two units to service during the week.

Kendal is regarded as one of the largest indirect dry-cooled power stations in the world, which means that it uses significantly less water in its cooling processes than the conventional wet cooled power stations. The station's cooling towers have a height and base diameter of 165 metres. The station has six 686MW units.

Eskom says unit one tripped at 03:44 on Saturday morning due to a failure of the generator transformer. Upon initial investigation, it was determined that the generator transformer had caught fire. The fire damaged the cables to the main cooling water system on the west side of the power station.

All personnel who were on site were evacuated safely with no injuries sustained during what Eskom describes as "an unfortunate incident".

Further investigations will be conducted to determine the root cause of the generator transformer fire.

Eskom expects that Kendal Unit 1 will be returned to service during the week.

Eskom has undertaken to provide further information in due course on how the incident will impact the national electricity grid.

* This article was updated with further details provided by Eskom and will be updated again if more information becomes available.

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