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Kusile Power Station’s Unit 5 Syncs to the Grid

by Central News Reporter
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Kusile Power Station

Kusile Power Station

Eskom, South Africa’s primary electricity supplier, successfuly synchronised Unit 5 of the Kusile Power Station to the country’s national grid for the first time on December 31, 2023, at exactly 17h22.

The successful synchronization followed a proclamation by South African Electricity Minister Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa last September that four out of service units at the Kusile power station in Mpumalanga are predicted to reincorporate into the grid by end-2023. An unfortunate chimney failure had caused these coal-powered units to be offline since the previous November.

During his routine media briefing on the Energy Action Plan, Ramokgopa commended the hard work put toward commissioning Unit 5 and stated his optimistic anticipation of on-boarding Unit 6 by August 2024.

The successful integration of Unit 5 will enhance the country’s power system, providing an additional 800MW – a previously unplanned expansion of Eskom’s grid capacity. For the subsequent six months, following a rigorous regime of testing and optimization, the unit is set to intermittently supply electricity before transitioning to a permanent operation and officially broadening the existing Eskom fleet.

According to Bheki Numalo, Eskom’s Group Executive for Generation, the successful synchronization of Kusile Unit 5 signifies another substantial stride in enhancing the country’s generation performance.

“We are delighted that this successful recovery plan is succeeding across the board, and will ultimately strengthen South Africa’s electricity capacity,” he said. Numalo voiced his gratitude toward the Kusile Project unit, praising their unwavering service and expressed his confidence in their persistence.

Acting Group Chief Executive of Eskom, Calib Cassim, celebrated the synchronization of Unit 5 and the hope it brings to the nation. Cassim also acknowledged the ongoing focus on improving the Generation fleet’s performance to alleviate national load shedding and reduce the cost of supplementing capacity using diesel-powered plants.

Expectedly, the construction and commissioning activities at Unit 6 are in progress. On completion, the station will comprise six units with a maximum capacity of 4,800MW, making Kusile South Africa’s largest construction project and the world’s fourth largest coal plant.

Notably, the power station is also equipped with Wet Flue Gas Desulphurisation (WFGD) technology for compliance with environmental standards, a first for South Africa, and the continent at large.

In a hopeful note, Eskom stated that repair works on the permanent stack for units 1, 2, and 3 were well underway, alongside efforts to bring Medupi Unit 4 back online by July 2024. These developments, blended with the triumphant completion of Kusile Unit 5, are set to strengthen the nation’s energy availability and bolster Eskom’s Generation Recovery Plan.

During his visit at Kusile Power Station, Minister @Kgosientsho_R “The problem of load shedding will be resolved. Ultimately, the problem of electricity in this country will also be resolved,” #YourSafetyOurConcern #LeaveNoOneBehind

Sputla Ramokgopa

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