R33 Billion Needed to Complete the Commissioning and Remedial Work at Medupi and Kusile Coal Power Stations

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has revealed that Eskom will require at least R33 billion to complete the commissioning and remedial work at the Medupi and Kusile power stations.

The President was answering questions in the National Assembly on Thursday this past week. The two power stations have the potential to supply at least 4800MW of energy each to the grid.

Related news: South Africa’s Medupi coal fired power station will not show a financial benefit over its lifetime

“All six Medupi [generation]units have reached the stage of commercial operation and the current focus is on completing the balance of the plant and remedial works. Four out of six Kusile [generation]units are in commercial operation and the current focus is on completing the commissioning of the remaining two units.

“Eskom’s intention is to complete the remaining scope of work at Medupi and Kusile within the current project budgets approved by the current Eskom board,” he said.

Defects in the designs of both power stations have led to a delay in the completion of both and the President said these are being addressed.

“Eskom is making steady progress in developing and implementing effective technical solutions to the major technical defects at both power stations. As a result, the availability and reliability of the commissioned units at Medupi and Kusile is improving on an ongoing basis.

“The effective corrections of the major plant defects at Medupi and Kusile will ensure that the plants achieve their contractual performance with improved reliability as well as availability factors.

“As an example, before the correction of major plant defects, the energy availability factor at Medupi was 64% measures over 12 months. To date, in this financial year, the energy availability factor is now around 85% which is a considerable improvement,” he said.

Kusile Power Station is designed to consist of six 800 megawatt coal-fired generating units for a total generating capacity of 4,800 megawatts. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

President Ramaphosa said although there is improvement, the realisation now is that the defects in the plants bear a heavy toll on the national grid.

“These power stations being built…are really complex processes and at times when they are not well designed they even become more complex. It’s something that we have been suffering from because the design defects have actually contributed to a large extent to the load shedding that we’re currently having,” he said.

President Ramaphosa said there are processes underway to investigate “what resulted in the flawed designs, flawed operational capability of some of these plants” and also looking at potential “overpricing as well as corruption that got underway”.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Source: SAnews.gov.za

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