Eskom has synchronised Medupi’s unit 5 to the grid, becoming the second of the power station’s six units to come on stream.
This synchronisation adds an additional 800 MW to the grid and it is expected that unit 5 will become commercially operational by March 2018.
“Medupi unit 5 synchronisation is a clear indication that we are on track on delivering the entire New Build programme to the country. This milestone further strengthens our position that load shedding is becoming a thing of the past. I am thrilled by this achievement. Eskom has turned the corner,” said Eskom Group Chief Executive Brian Molefe
Once completed, Medupi will be the fourth largest coal-fired power plant, and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world. It will consist of six units with an installed capacity of 4 800 MW, and a planned operational life of 50 years.
The Medupi power station uses direct dry-cooling systems due to the water scarcity in the Lephalale area. Dry-cooling systems use air instead of water to cool the steam exiting a turbine. The power plant incorporates super critical technology which is able to operate at higher temperatures than Eskom’s earlier generation of boilers and turbines. Importantly, the technology enables the power plant to operate with greater efficiency, resulting in better use of natural resources such as water and coal, and will have improved environmental performance.
Brown congratulates Eskom
Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown has congratulated Eskom’s leadership for their efforts to get the build-programme back on track.
“The Board headed by Dr Ben Ngubane and the Group CEO Brian Molefe, have successfully steered Eskom through difficult times. I want to congratulate them and their staff for their commitment to the country,” said Brown
“They have managed to turn Eskom around and placed the company on a sound operational and financial footing compared to a year ago. This year Eskom announced a net profit (after tax) for the 2015/16 financial period of R4.6 billion.
“This has contributed to operational and financial sustainability for the company, while the grid had stabilised to such an extent that we have a reliable electricity supply for South Africa.”