“Transformer 1 exploded and caught fire. It was cold and the wind was strong, and so it blew the fire across to the feeder board and caused a lot of smoke and carbon damage to the other two transformers,” Mokgosi said.
The entire substation was shut down and repair work was started immediately. Technicians had to clean the entire area and then start with days of repairs.
By Wednesday, transformer 1 had been floated, final tests had been done and it was ready to be phased in by late afternoon.
“Floating”, Mokgosi said, is the term for when a repaired unit is brought online again. Because it involves high-voltage cables and huge amounts of electricity, the process involves slowly warming it up and getting everything live again and can take up to 12 hours before it can be switched back on.
Transformer 2 is ready and 3 was ready to be floated, he said.
“We are planning to start switching back on again about 4pm, but it’s a difficult process in which the electricity will be on and off and on and off again until the load is balanced.
“A lot of the community here is in the middle of Ramadan, so they will start breaking their fast at the same time, there will be a surge in demand and we may have to drop some circuits.