Johannesburg - Construction of the 4 764 MW
Medupi coal-fired power plant, meant to plug a dire electricity shortfall, was
back to full speed on Thursday after workers returned following protests at the
site, state-owned utility Eskom said.
Eskom is seeking to make up for the nearly two-week delay
and ensure that the first of six units at the Medupi plant, already delayed by
more than a year due to problems with boiler contracts, starts generating
electricity late next year.
“Yesterday there were already more than 15 000 workers on
site, so everything is back to normal,” Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe said.
“We are looking to make up for lost time.”
Some 17 000 workers are currently employed at Medupi.
Two weeks ago around 80 workers contracted by Murray &
Roberts (M&R) and Grinaker-LTA, part of construction group Aveng, damaged
some vehicles and equipment at the site in a protest about labour issues.
Eskom is walking a tightrope to keep power flowing to
factories, mines and smelters that had to shut for several days four years ago
when the national grid nearly collapsed, costing Africa’s biggest economy
billions of dollars in lost output.
Supply of electricity is expected to remain tight until
Medupi and another coal-fired plant, Kusile, become operational.
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