Medupi Unit 4 is on track to be commissioned in August – Ramokgopa

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Video recording of the media briefing on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan yesterday

  • South Africa’s Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, has commended the interventions implemented by Eskom, which have contributed to improvements in the country’s energy supply security.

“These interventions come on the back of the Energy Action Plan… It is [like]an accumulation of these efforts over a period, which is now going close to two years,” Ramokgopa said on Tuesday.

Briefing media on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan, Ramokgopa said some of Eskom’s interventions include the improvement of plant conditions, the establishment of the War Room, increased governance controls, aggressive cost cutting, environmental compliance, and achieving coal stock days, amongst others.

Related news: Insights on loadshedding and the real state of electricity supply in South Africa 

Ramokgopa attributed the ramping up of planned maintenance to Eskom’s leadership, and those who have volunteered their skills and services to serve the country.

“The ramping up of planned maintenance is very important. If you look at the period December 2023, going into January of 2024, we took out 18% of the total generation capacity – about 9 000 megawatts at a go, for planned maintenance.

“We are beginning to see these machines coming back into service. They are coming back on load and adding to the capacity of the grid, and this is helping us to address the demand. More of these machines would come on stream as we go towards the winter period,” Ramokgopa said.

The Minister said the establishment of the War Room was to ensure that Eskom can focus on dealing with planned maintenance.

On addressing the issues of inadequate capacity, the Minister re-emphasised that Eskom is not a “silver bullet”, and that the country’s problems with loadshedding will not be solved by Eskom alone.

“Eskom is a major player in the short-term, and I think [we]need additional generation capacity, hence the need to expedite that engagement with independent power producers to the extent that Eskom can make a contribution [and]we are able to get them on stream, [and]on loan, as soon as possible.”

Ramokgopa stressed the importance of ensuring that the entity gets the right people into the right positions.

“We also accepted that there’s a need, from time to time, to draw from external experts in areas of deficit in relation to expertise. We… also [have]to ensure that there [is]a culture of accountability and consequence management, whereby when people commit to a certain target, and if those targets are not met, first we try to assist, then [we]need to ensure [we]introduce consequence management,” the Minister said.

Highlighting some of the success achieved so far, Ramokgopa reported that National Treasury has relaxed some requirements, which will speed up procurement.

“The allocation of outage budgeting has improved, leading to improved outage readiness. We are receiving a lot of collaboration among external stakeholders with a willingness to assist Eskom,” Ramokgopa said.

Medupi Unit 4 is on track to be commissioned in August

Meanwhile, Ramokgopa announced that Medupi Power Station Unit 4 is on track to be commissioned in August 2024, following the delivery of a second-hand generator stator last month.

“The second-hand generator stator was delivered to Medupi Power Station on 5 March 2024. The unloading from the multi-axle vehicle was successfully executed on 11 March 2024.

“Koeberg unit 2 is on track to return to service in September 2024, and Kusile unit 6 is planned to synchronise in September 2024.  Kusile remains on track with units synchronising between November 2024 and April 2025,” the Minister said.

The Minister also noted that the coal stockpiles are at healthy levels and none of the stations are below compliance required levels.



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