Eskom

South Africa state-owned power utility Eskom, has announced that Unit 2 at the Medupi Power Station commenced producing power at 11h53 on the 7 October 2018.

The unit was loaded to 400MW capacity at 16:30, making it the fifth of the six Medupi units to be synchronised to the national grid.

Abram Masango, Eskom’s group executive for group capital, said: “The achievement of Unit 2 first synchronisation, eight months ahead of the June 2019 schedule, marks a key milestone towards the full commercial operation of the unit. Lessons learnt on previous units were implemented on Unit 2, leading to the swiftness in delivering first power.”

Masango added: “This is an amazing achievement, taking us closer to completing the entire Medupi project, as we will be left with one unit.  Well done to the team led by Zandi Shange, the first woman Project Director of a new build mega project. Our aim is to ensure that we conclude the project well within time, with a positive legacy for all.”

The first synchronisation or first power is when the generator in the unit is, for the first time, electrically connected to the national power grid so that it is aligned with all other generators on the grid.

It will then start to generate and deliver electricity into the grid over several months. Read more: How Eskom is coping with low coal stockpiles

Medupi Power Station’s remaining units

Eskom explained in a statement that during this testing and optimisation phase, Unit 2 will be delivering power intermittently, thus contributing to the stability of the country’s electricity supply.

Medupi Acting Project Director Zandi Shange said: “The delivery of Unit 2 affirms to everyone who has been part of the project that they are capable of delivering a world-class power station. This would not have been achieved without the dedication of the team. As we approach the last stretch of the project, we will apply the same vigour as we work towards the unit’s commercial operation, as well as synchronising the remaining unit.”

The next step will be the testing and optimisation of the Unit, resulting in the Unit being able to generate full power of 794MW of electricity feeding into the national grid for the country’s consumption.

Once completed, Medupi will be the fourth largest coal-fired power plant and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world.

It will consist of six units with an installed capacity of 4,764MW.