Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hitachi (partly owned by the ANC) boilers fail at the still-under-construction Medupi power plant

I loved the way news about the failure of the Hitachi boilers at the still-under-construction Medupi power plant was handled. While conceding that Hitachi, partly owned now directly by the African National Congress (ANC) through its investment arm, Chancellor House, and through which it got the multibillion-rand boiler contract in the first place, had made a mess of the boilers Eskom required, the spin was that there were many other problems at the plant as well.

Yes, maybe, but none of them were brought to us courtesy of the ANC’s party-funding machine. I trust Eskom has the courage to require significant penalties from Hitachi for the mess. Medupi was supposed to come onstream this year. I doubt it will, in any meaningful way, because the boiler problem is just too serious. Remember, too, that Hitachi/ANC is also supplying boilers to Kusile, the coal-fired station that is set to follow Medupi.

Between them, the two power stations will add 10% to SA’s generating capacity. But until Hitachi gets its act together and produces a boiler that won’t explode as the steam inside it builds to unthinkable pressure levels, they’ll produce nothing.

At its most basic, the boiler in a power station acts like a kettle (in this case brought to the boil by hot coal). The steam it makes then has to be sufficiently powerful to drive huge turbines, which ultimately generate the electricity. What has gone wrong with the first Hitachi boiler is that tests have confirmed that many of the welds in it are unsound.

I don’t know to what extent Chancellor House may have been involved in trying to cut back on incidental costs such as welding in order to increase its returns on the Eskom scam, but these welds are going to cost them dearly. So much for getting into business!

Not only should Eskom already be collecting on penalties but it should, at Hitachi/ ANC cost, be recruiting expert international help to make doubly sure that the next 11 boilers Hitachi makes for them can actually do the job they’re there for.

Read the rest of the article at:


  1. Perhaps the word boiler is a misnomer. A throwback to the days when "boilers" were boilers.

    A modern coal fired power plant has a "boiler" that is used as a containment housing for controlled explosions with a number of pipes running through it carrying the heat transfer medium - usually water.

    The coal is crushed into talcum powder and is "injected" into the boiler where it explodes, releasing masses of heat energy rapidly and highly effectively which transfers into the water pipes running through it.

    Modern coal stations operate like an internal combustion engine without pistons.

    Coal dust is injected and detonated, the heat transfers to the pipes and the steam flashes past the turbine blades...

  2. Yes, the boilers are like the ANC, they cannot wrk and won't produce anything. Let them try this failures, may they can get it to work.

    1. I think we should confirm and get awareness of any product for its quality.

  3. You should know how to maintain the good condition of your boiler or change your old boiler to a new one. New boiler Balham specialise in boiler installations and fitting new central heating systems. The advantage of changing your old boiler and components will result in a more efficient heating system.

  4. I loved the way news about the failure of the Hitachi boilers at the still-under-construction Medupi power plant was handled. heating engineer Birmingham

  5. The principle of cleaning basically consists of circulating the desired chemicals through the Cooling Water Circuit by dosing them in the chemical dosing pot and maintaining circulation for a period sufficient to remove all the deposits. installing a boiler

  6. Gasification is a process technology that converts solid material into gas. This process can be performed on fuels such as biomass, coal, and charcoal from the oil refinery process. boilers Birmingham

  7. The Boilers were the most innovative and influential band to come out of the 1980's NYC Ska scene. Though they burned brightly for only a short time and recorded just one full length album. replacing a boiler

  8. I loved the way news about the failure of the Hitachi boilers at the still-under-construction Medupi power plant was handled. boilers Birmingham