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Eskom confirms fire at Duvha Power Station in Mpumalanga

The Duvha Power Station in November 2021.( Photo: Ethan van Diemen)

Eskom says a fire broke out on Monday morning at its notoriously problematic Duvha Power Station. No injuries were reported.

Eskom has confirmed reports that a fire broke out on Monday morning at Duvha Power Station, 15km east of eMalahleni in Mpumalanga. 

In a statement, Eskom said the fire broke out in Unit 2 at Duvha Power Station but “was quickly extinguished” and they are “investigating the root cause of the fire and extent of damage and possible return to service”.

The fire follows several incidents of what Eskom officials described as sabotage during May.

On 19 May, a power cable leading to a valve at Tutuka Power Station’s Unit 5 was cut, with officials on the same day confirming that an air pipeline had also been cut. The following day, cables were cut and stolen at the Hendrina Power Station. On 21 and 22 May, a cable was cut on Unit 1 at Matla Power Station.

Local news outlets reported earlier in the day on official denials and attempts to downplay the fire. Lenny Maseko, a spokesperson for Duvha, reportedly told the Middelburg Observer that there had been an oil spill.  

“Luckily, there was no fire … the incident is serious nonetheless,” Maseko told the newspaper, adding that all units at Duvha remained operational.

Footage of what seemed to be a fire, seen on social media, shows plumes of smoke billowing from the unit.

Duvha Power Station is one of Eskom’s “six-pack” power plants, comprising six generating units. Each unit can produce up to 600MW, with Duvha having an installed capacity of 3,600MW.

According to Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshasha, Unit 2 had been offline for a general overhaul since January.

In February 2011  an explosion ripped through one of the turbines at the power station, causing extensive damage to the station’s infrastructure and immediately removing 600MW from the country’s electricity supply.OBP/DM

 

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