Last unit at Medupi power station comes online

Medupi power station's sixth unit is commercially operational.
Medupi power station's sixth unit is commercially operational.

The last of six generation units at the Medupi power station in Lephalale, Limpopo, attained commercial operation status at the weekend, Eskom said.

This marks the completion of building activities on the 4,764MW project, which started in May 2007.

The capital cost of the project is R122bn so far, and Eskom expects to spend in total just under R135bn on completion of the plant.

“What remains for the Medupi project is the last part of implementing the agreed technical solutions related to the boiler design defects on the balance of the plant. Once these repairs are completed during the next 24 months, Medupi will reliably deliver power to the national grid at full capacity, helping increase energy security for the country,” said Bheki Nxumalo, group executive for Eskom’s Group Capital Division. 

The planned operational life of the station is 50 years.

Eskom said in August 2015 the first unit attained commercial operation status. Over the following six years, other units were built and brought to commercial status, providing electricity to the national grid.

The Medupi power station uses direct dry-cooling systems. Eskom said the plant incorporates 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.”


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