Medupi Power Station


Eskom announces Medupi Unit 3 is commercially operational

Medupi Power Station Unit 3 becoming operational will alleviate pressure on the national grid according to South African power utility Eskom.

Medupi Power Station


Eskom has announced that Unit 3 at the Medupi Power Station has completed its reliability runs and control demonstrations to attain full commercial operation status.

Medupi Power Station

The announcement marks a major milestone in the project that has been characterised by delays, being well over budget and accusations of technical deficiencies.

The idea was originally conceived in 2007 as a 2400MW power station at an estimated cost of R32 billion. This was later doubled in size to 4764MW and cost updated to R69 billion.

So far the cost of Medupi Power Station is estimated to be in the region of R145 billion.

Unit 3 commercially operational

“The unit was officially declared commercial after the completion of the unit optimisation, control demonstration, 72 hours and the 30 day reliability runs, putting all performance guarantees to effect,” the power utility announced.

“Unit 3 joins its sister units, Units 6, 5 and 4 which have been commercially contributing electricity to the national grid since August 23 2015 (U6), April 3 2017 (U5) and November 28 2017 (U4).”

Project nearing completion

Eskom’s chief operating officer told TimesLive that this was a major milestone as it indicates that the project is finally nearing completion.

“This signatory milestone marks the contractual handover of the unit from the principal contractors to Eskom,” the power utility said in a statement.

“Unit 3 is distinctively different in that it is the first of the last three Units that is supported by the auxiliary plant systems from the northern side of the site as well as the new control and instrumentation system.

“These as well as the new interfaces resulted in significant challenges different to those of the first three units [that were commercially operational]. During the testing and optimisation phase, Unit 3 was delivering power intermittently; and contributing to the country’s electricity supply.

“Unit 3 commercial operation achievement will surely alleviate the pressure on the electricity national grid.”