A massive explosion, a fire, boiler tubes rupturing due to age and poor coal quality, and an earth leakage are some of the myriad technical problems that contributed to Stage 4 load shedding last week.
Last Monday, Eskom reported that roughly 17 000MW capacity (out of just over 35 000MW installed base load capacity) was offline due to unplanned breakdowns. By the end of the week on Friday, this had reduced to just over 11 000MW, but the damage was done. South Africa endured a week of load shedding, which escalated from Stage 2 to 4.
Poor condenser vacuums, poor coal mill performance, fan vanes saturation, thrust bearing issues, demineralised water shortages, turbine steam leaks, condenser tube leaks, and boiler tube leaks are just some of the faults registered at power stations.