A Study on Corrosion Management at Eskom Lethabo Power Station Outside Plant

Author: Mocheke, Thoka
Supervisor: Mr Ernst Swanepoel
Date: March 2007

Faced with the ever-growing electricity demand in South Africa and the aging Outside Plant, one of the strategic areas of focus for Eskom Lethabo Power Station to ensure business continuity, is the management of corrosion at the Outside Plant.

Poor management of corrosion will lead to high refurbishment costs, extended outage duration and injury to personnel when corroded structures collapse and pipes with hazardous substance burst. Corrosion of pipes and tanks with hazardous substance will also result in environmental legal contravention.

This research focused on:

  • Measuring the effectiveness of the current methods of managing corrosion at Lethabo Power Station Outside Plant.
  • Identifying operational and human factors contributing to poor corrosion management at Lethabo Power Statio Outside Plant.
  • Identifying the relevant corrosion management strategy for Lethabo Power Station Outside Plant.

The practice of replacing corroded pipes and structures without assessing the corrosive environments and without applying project management principles has been at Lethabo Power Station Outside Plant for many years. The general perception was that the Lethabo Power Station Outside Plant maintenance, engineering and operating personnel lacked some corrosion protection awareness.

A multi dimensional set of variables such as, managing corrosion protection critical skills, correct material selection, knowledge of corrosion protection systems, understanding mechanisms of corrosion, understanding corrosive environments, knowledge of properties of substance being transported, test and inspection plans, asset management principles, Life cycle costing, and component design parameters are used to formulate an effective corrosion management strategy.