Workers on duty at the National Power Authority (NPA) Kingtom power station, at Kingtom in Freetown, yesterday afternoon ran helter-skelter to extinguish flames which suddenly out busted from Sulzer 4.
In the midst of lung chocking smoke that clouded the generator room, firemen from the Freetown Fire Force struggled with their fire extinguishing hoses to douse the fire which was coming from Sulzer 4’s alternator.Speaking to the head of the Moroccan engineering team who are now repairing the generators at the power station, Adil Fatsoner explained that they (the Moroccan engineers) were outside when they suddenly heard a blast and saw smoke coming from the generator room.
He explained that the cause of the fire was unknown noting that, “we are investigating as to what caused the fire.”
A public notice issued by the Ministry of Energy and Power in relation to the incident, explained that the ministry regreted to inform the general public that the, “fire destroyed the alternator of the Sulzer 4 generator which was on test run after the 9,000 hours general maintenance carried out by the Moroccan team and NPA personnel.”
The notice stated that at the time of the incident “the generator was producing 6 megawatt of electricity.”
However, the communiqué disclosed that the affected generator had been isolated from the system and also noted that it appeared as if the nearby generators were also affected.
The public notice stated that the incident, coupled with cracks in some of the cylinder heads of the Mirrless 2 (South African generator), meant that there would be significant reduction in the available generating capacity by the power station.
“There will be extensive load shedding, which will cause some areas of the city to be without electricity for the time being,” the public notice stated.