Business & Industry Eskom Nuclear

Energy: Koeberg revamp underway

Eskom, the state utility that supplies 95% of SA’s power, is overhauling the continent’s sole nuclear plant with the aim of extending its lifespan by at least 20 years. A Moneyweb report notes that the revamp of the 1 860-megawatt Koeberg facility comes as Eskom struggles to produce enough electricity to meet demand and is grappling to address construction glitches and cost overruns at two new coal-fired power stations. The nuclear plant is one of the cheapest to operate in the utility’s fleet. Koeberg ‘has been well-maintained over its 35-year history and hence only a relatively small number of large components require replacement,’ Eskom said in an e-mailed reply to questions. ‘These replacements have been timed so they coincide with routine unit shutdowns for refueling and maintenance.’ Eskom said it began planning the overhaul in 2010, has committed the necessary funds and is implementing it in several stages. Considering the problems SA would have faced building more new coal-fired power stations or additional nuclear facilities, extending Koeberg’s lifespan makes sense from a cost and timing perspective, said Chris Gadomski, a nuclear industry analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Full Moneyweb report

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