South Africa: Kusile Coal Fired Power Station Unit 3 Commissioned

  • Eskom is pleased to announce that this week Unit 3 of the Kusile Power Station achieved commercial operation status. 
  • This brings to three the number of generation units that have achieved commercial status at the project, generating a maximum 2 400MW to support the South African power grid.
  • The 4800MW Kusile new build project has been plagued with massive overruns, corruption and breakdowns. Read more

The achievement of this milestone follows two years of rigorous testing and optimisation since the unit was first synchronised into the national grid in April 2019. This significant milestone marks the contractual handover of the unit from the principal contractors under the Group Capital Build project unit to the Generation division.

“Bringing this unit to commercial operation is a major milestone for Eskom and the employees involved in the project, who are working hard to ensure Eskom fulfils its promise of bringing stability to the power system,” said Bheki Nxumalo, Eskom’s Group Executive for Capital Projects.

Related news: ABB to payback R1.56 billion to Eskom over Kusile ‘overpayments’

The construction, testing and optimisation activities on the remaining three units, some of which are currently providing intermittent power to support the grid, are progressing well.

Commercial Operation status is conferred on generation units that have met the requirements for full technical, statutory, safety and legal compliance.

Eskom is proud of its team at Kusile who have delivered this third unit with extreme dedication, and working under challenging conditions during periods of loadshedding and the COVID-19 restrictions. Over the years, the team has worked hard for long hours together with execution partners to ensure that testing activities are done thoroughly and successfully. 

Related news: Kusile coal conveyor belt breaks down – triggers 4 days of loadshedding

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), for example, sulphur dioxide (SO2), 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 and its commitments to some of the funders of the project.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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