Infrastructure


Green light for new power station

22 May 2007 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has issued state-owned electricity company Eskom with a licence to build the first new coal-fired power station in the country for more than 20 years. Eskom chief executive Jacob Maroga told Engineering News earlier this month that Roshcon, Eskom's in-house civil engineering unit, would begin site preparation for the R66-billion project in Lephalale in Limpopo province. Maroga said the project's value might increase to above R80-billion should Eskom be required to install stringing air-quality systems. Speaking to BuaNews, Nersa chief executive Smunda Mokoena said the power station - named Medupi - would be a green-fields, coal-fired power plant comprising six units with 4 500 megawatts of installed capacity. The first unit will be commissioned by early 2011, with the last unit scheduled for commissioning by January 2015. The project, Mokoena said, would include supercritical boilers capable of operating at higher temperatures and pressures, and with greater efficiency, than older generation boilers. Medupi will make use of direct dry-cooling technology, becoming the fourth such base-load power station in the country after the Kendal, Majuba and Matimba stations. The boiler and turbine contracts for Medupi are set to be two of the largest contracts Eskom has ever signed. Tenders for the long lead boiler and turbine packages were lodged and the evaluation process is now complete. "The environmental impact assessment for this station was undertaken and a positive record of decision issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism last year," Maroga told BuaNews. "We are delighted with the environmental authorisation and the go-ahead from Nersa as this is the first step towards a much-needed base-load station for South Africa." SouthAfrica.info reporter and BuaNews
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