On Tuesday, Eskom announced that Unit 1 at the Kusile Power Station, reached full load last week, achieving yet another major milestone. This follows the initial synchronisation of the same unit on 26 December 2016.
Synchronisation kicks off a sequence of testing activities, leading to commercial operation, which begins with post-synchronisation testing, the parastatal said in a statement.
Kusile achieves full load
According to the utility, 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. Read more…
Achieving full load means running the unit at the full design and operating capacity.
For Kusile Unit 1, the full load-generating capacity is 800MW. Kusile Unit 1 going on full load is just one more step closer to the ultimate goal of commercial operation.
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 consist of six units, which will produce a total of 4,800MW. As such, it will be one of the largest coal-fired power stations in the world once finished.
“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.
Situated near eMalahleni in Mpumalanga, Kusile – the isiNdebele and siSwati word meaning “the dawn has come”, is South Africa’s largest multibillion-rand construction project and will be the fourth largest coal plant in the world once completed, Eskom highlighted. Read more…
Fitting new technology
According to Eskom, 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, the utility explains.
The parastatal explained: “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.”