Eskom shuts power plant after warning ash dam may collapse

Camden power station, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Image from Eskom.

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned electricity utility, said it has temporarily closed its Camden power plant because the dam where it stores the ash from burning coal could burst and endanger local residents.

The 1,600-megawatt power plant will be closed for up to three months after a “review by a professional body,” Eskom said in a statement.

“The contractor concluded that the current dam has reached its maximum height and therefore it poses a safety risk to all personnel on site, including neighboring communities and could also be a cause for environmental contravention,” the utility said.

The closure adds to the environmental challenges faced by the company, which produces almost all of South Africa’s power. Eskom also faces the potential partial closure of its Kendal power plant because it breaches pollution emission limits.

(By Antony Sguazzin)

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