Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 03 February 2011 – South African national power utility Eskom Holdings Limited has spent a total of R20.5 billion on re-commissioning its three old power stations that have been out of service for more than 20 years “’ and the initiative has proved to be successful.
The total budget of returning the three stations – Camden, Komati and Grootvlei – to service was estimated at R12 billion in 2003. Together they can produce 3 800MW of electricity.
Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe said the project had presented various major challenges, including the procurement of components last manufactured in the 1960s. It had, however, been successful, and was already delivering electricity to a network struggling to meet demand.
Joffe said that the generating capacity of the three together – Camden with 1 520MW, Grootvlei with 1 200MW and Komati with 1 000MW – would equal that of a new power station. But the cost of the re-commissioning them was almost R100 billion less than that of a new power station – and the electricity would be available sooner.
Joffe said the programme would probably be completed by the end of 2012. Eskom officially opened Camden late last year, and work on Komati and Grootvlei is well under way. The Komati station, which is already generating just over 300MW of electricity, is scheduled to produce an additional 300MW by year-end.
The Eskom spokesperson went on to say that the utility’s efforts to re-open its old stations was unparalleled anywhere in the world. No-one else could be as successful in reopening old power stations that had been shut down for so long, Joffe believed.
Eskom newest power station, Medupi, which is being built in Lephalale, will be ready only in 2016 and is expected to cost R125 billion. It will produce 4 800MW of power.