June, 2022

ARNOT Cooling Tower Refurbishment Project

ARNOT Cooling Tower Refurbishment Project

Our sister company IWC South Africa recently completed the refurbishment work at Arnot power station which is part of the Eskom stable of power stations. The power station is located in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Arnot boasts six units, each with a capacity of 350 MW, and an installed capacity of 2100 MW. Arnot was also the first station to be commissioned with a reheat system and electronic automatic controls.

Arnot has seen much refurbishment in the last 25 years, with three units (Units 4 ,5 & 6), being mothballed in 1992 due to Eskom’s surplus generating capacity at the time. Arnot then ran only two of the remaining units, with one unit in cold reserve. Units 4, 5 & 6 were recommissioned in December 1996, 1997 & 1998 respectively. This made the power station the first in South Africa to be commissioned after mothballing, becoming a six-pack station again.


As specialists in cooling tower refurbishment projects, IWC was asked to complete the latest refurbishment work at the power station. IWC is a registered asbestos removal contractor and thus made sense for us to complete the asbestos work required on site. All asbestos removal work was carried out in accordance with the gazetted Occupational Health and Safety regulations.


The scope included repacking the No.2 cooling tower which encompassed removing all the existing fill, and supplying new polypropylene splash grids which are supported with interlinking stainless steel wires. IWC also replaced the corroded internal ladders and handrailing with new FRP ladders and additional FRP handrailing making the tower more accessible and safer for workers.

The project also included some cleaning work and other safety related repairs to the distribution system, walkways and drift eliminators – IWC replaced some damaged sprayers and carried out internal cleaning and de-scaling activities.

Some damaged asbestos cement drift eliminators were safely removed and disposed of and replaced with new PVC drift eliminators. Some corroded concrete beams supporting walkways and piping were also removed and replaced with stainless steel beams.

Arnot is named after the farm on which it is situated. Arnot power station was ESKOM’s first modern, large generation power station and was often described as the most scenic one. The area formerly inhabited by the white rhino honors the rhino by being captured as the symbol of the station’s official logo.