R120bn later, Medupi at last in production

NEARLY THERE: The much-delayed Medupi power station has finally begun producing electricity
NEARLY THERE: The much-delayed Medupi power station has finally begun producing electricity

AFTER a delay of about four years and at nearly double the initial budgeted cost, Eskom is finally producing electricity from its Medupi power station, which is still under construction in Lephalale in Limpopo.

The station was initially expected to start producing electricity in 2011.

The first generating unit, which produced its first power yesterday, would ramp up to the full 794MW capacity within the next three months, Eskom said.

The company had appointed a power station manager in preparation for commercial production of electricity at the facility, and another 350 people would work there, Eskom chief executive Tshediso Matona said.

It may take another year for the second 794MW of power to be connected to the national grid. Unit 6 is the first of six coal-fired generating units, which will produce a total of 4 800MW when complete in about 2019.

Initially budgeted in 2007 to cost about R70-billion, Eskom revised the estimated cost in November last year to about R120-billion.

To supply constant and reliable electricity, Eskom must add at least 3 600MW to its 42 000MW of installed total. The company said it would start producing power from its Kusile project by the middle of next year.

-The Herald Reporter

 

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