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S. Africa gets additional energy supply after completion of major power station

(The Southern African Times) – South Africa’s power utility Eskom on Monday said they finally completed the Medupi Power Station project after 14-year’s construction, which would help reduce energy shortage in the country.

Eskom said Unit 1 in Lephalale, the last of six generation units, attained commercial operation status on Saturday and was handed over to the generation division. This milestone marks the completion of all building activities on the 4,764MW project.

“Unit 1 commercial operation is a historic milestone as it signifies the completion of construction for Medupi Power Station. This is an investment that will serve generations of the people of South Africa and power the economy for at least the next half-century,” said Bheki Nxumalo, group executive for Eskom’s group capital division.

He said the last unit was officially declared “commercial” after it went through a process of optimization, control demonstration and, respectively, a 72-hour and 30-day reliability run.

“What remains for the Medupi project is the last part of implementing the agreed technical solutions related to the boiler design defects on the balance of plant. Once these repairs are completed during the next 24 months, Medupi will reliably deliver power to the national grid at full capacity, helping increase energy security for the country,” Nxumalo said.

Construction at Medupi started in May 2007 and the power station has an operational life of 50 years. The first of Medupi’s six generation units attained commercial operation status in August 2015. Eskom said the capital cost of the project has reached 122 billion rand (8.47 billion US dollars) so far.

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