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Kusile Power Station under construction (image: www.basilread.co.za)

The Kusile Power Station project has reached another major milestone with Unit 1 reaching full load last week.

This means Unit 1 is running at the full design and operating capacity – 800 MW – taking Kusile one step closer to commercial operation.

This development follows the initial synchronisation of Unit 1 on 26 December 2016. Synchronisation kicks off a sequence of testing activities, leading to commercial operation, which begins with post-synchronisation testing. This is followed by the combustion optimisation process to support initial full load. Currently, Kusile Unit 1 is in the final stages of the combustion optimisation phase.

“This milestone would never have been possible without the commitment that the Kusile Execution Team, led by Frans Sithole, has displayed. I praise the team for this achievement and the long hours worked in ensuring that Unit 1 goes on full load,” said Abram Masango, Group Executive: Group Capital Division.

Meanwhile the construction and commissioning activities on the remaining Kusile units, Unit 2 to Unit 6, continue to progress uninterruptedly with the drive to early completion.

The station will ultimately consist of six units producing a total of 4 800 MW. Situated near eMalahleni in Mpumalanga, Kusile is South Africa’s largest multibillion-rand construction project and will be the fourth largest coal plant in the world once completed.

Kusile is the first power station in South Africa and Africa to use wet flue gas desulphurisation (WFGD) technology. WFGD is the current state-of-the-art technology used to remove oxides of sulphur (SOx), such as sulphur dioxide, from the exhaust flue gas in power plants that burn coal or oil.

Eskom is fitting WFGD to the Kusile plant as an atmospheric emission abatement technology, in line with current international practice, to ensure compliance with air quality standards, making it environmentally friendly, especially since the power station is situated in a priority air shed.

 

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