Explosion at Joburg substation could lead to another week of electricity woes

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  • An explosion at a Johannesburg substation has thwarted efforts to reconnect electricity supply.
  • The substation in Eldorado Park caught alight on Friday morning.
  • While attempting to reconnect power, a transformer blew up on Wednesday.

It's been six days since a fire at a substation in Eldorado Park left large sections of Johannesburg without power. And, to make matters worse, an explosion at the same substation could lead to another seven days of work before the electricity is fully restored.

READ | Day 5 in the dark: City Power hopes to restore power to Eldorado Park by Wednesday

The fire, which initially started at around 05:00 on Friday, caused widespread power outages and water cuts in Johannesburg. City Power had hoped to restore the electricity on Wednesday, but the explosion could have derailed that plan.

On Wednesday, City Power said that the first of two transformers had been switched on at around 15:00, but had tripped. This caused the second transformer to blow up.

It caused outages in Freedom Park, Mpumelelo and parts of Devland.

City Power estimated that it would take seven days to "resolve the problem". The repairs will include siphoning around 40 000 litres of oil out of the damaged transformer, before installing a new transformer.

City Power said in a statement:

If all goes according to plan, we anticipate that we will switch on by early next week.

The city had been plagued by power outages in recent weeks. News24 previously reported that nearly 2 000 power outages occurred in Johannesburg last week.

According to City of Johannesburg acting MMC for environment and infrastructure services, Leah Knott, most of these were the result of inclement weather, increased demand, ageing infrastructure and load shedding.

The fire on Friday saw several substations upstream trip, including Orlando, Fordsburg, Pennyville, Mayfair, Mondeor, Nirvana, Nancefield, and Eikenhof. Many of the substations have since been repaired, but not those in Nancefield and Nirvana.

In addition, according to Johannesburg Water, the outages affected water supply to Roodepoort, Lenasia and Soweto, News24 previously reported.

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