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Eskom in trouble as ‘cracks' appear at its Medupi power station

by , 11 June 2013

“Eskom's long-delayed Medupi power station project has been knocked by another hitch, with listed construction and civil engineering group Basil Read terminating an R83 million contract that it had sub-contracted to engineering solutions provider Gast,” reports The Business Report. On the back of this news, economists are scrambling to figure out how this will affect the Medupi's December completion date Medupi and what delays, if any, this will cause the project…

Fears are flying that Eskom won’t be able to meet its December 2013 completion deadline for the Medupi power station it’s building in the Limpopo province.

The reason?

It’s believed that “some of the boilers look far from being complete by the deadline date,” reports ventures-africa.com.

In addition, there are fears that a delay in geosynthetics for the project’s various coal stock yards and ash dumps, which Eskom contracted to Basil Read, are behind too.

So it comes as no surprise that Basil Read, contractor for the Medupi Power Stations, had ended its contract with engineering solutions provider, Gast, yesterday accusing the firm of poor workmanship.

What was Gast working on as part of the Medupi project?
Up until yesterday, Gast was one of Basil Read’s big sub-contractors on the Medupi power station project.

It’s job was to assist Basil Read in the “supply and installation of one the largest Geosythetic projects in the Southern Hemisphere,” explains ujuh.co.za.

According to records, once awarded the Medupi contract Basil Read “called upon Gast to supply the linings for the coal stock yards, the ash dump and the dams – the geosynthetics as they are termed in the trade,” adds MoneyWeb.

How will Basil Read’s decision affect completion?

According to Basil Read’s deputy CEO, Donny Gouveia, “the termination [will] have no material effect on the timing of it finishing its work at the Medupi power station,” reports BD Live.

That’s a relief considering Eskom’s national power grid is already under strain from the colder weather, although the group denies that load-shedding has already started, writes IOL.

Meanwhile, Gast had told the media, it won’t take Basil Read’s move lying down. It plans to take the group to court, because it believes “the construction group had terminated an engineering contract with it without supplying an adequate explanation,” explains BD Live. Having already completed more than 95% of a R83 million contract, Gast believes Basil Read owes them at least an explanation.

All we can do, is hope Eskom is able to pull its  ship right and relieve the national power grid slightly by getting Medupi up and running on time.

Eskom in trouble as ‘cracks' appear at its Medupi power station
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