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Eskom unit achieves full commercial operation adding 800MW to national grid


JOHANNESBURG – South African power utility Eskom said on Thursday its Unit 2 at the Kusile power station in Mpumalanga province had attained commercial operation status and would contribute up to 800 megawatts to the national grid.

In a statement, Eskom said this was the second unit at Kusile to enter commercial operation, with Unit 1 having done so in 2017.

“The commercial operation of Unit 2 is a major milestone that signifies the progress being made by Eskom towards the completion of the Kusile Build Project, on which lie the nation’s best hopes to bring stability and ensure security of electricity supply to power the South African economy,” Eskom’s group executive for capital projects Bheki Nxumalo said.

Eskom said construction, testing and optimisation activities on the remaining four units were progressing well, with some of them currently providing intermittent power to support the grid.

Kusile is the first power station in South Africa and the continent to use state-of-the-art wet flue gas desulphurisation (WFGD) to remove oxides of sulphur from the exhaust flue gas in power plants that burn coal or oil.

The utility is fitting WFGD to the Kusile plant as an atmospheric emission abatement technology to ensure compliance with air quality standards, in line with current international practice.

Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of South Africa’s power, has struggled over the past decade to meet demand. This is largely due to frequent breakdowns in its ageing, historically badly maintained infrastructure, which have forced Eskom to implement rolling blackouts in order to avoid overwhelming the grid.

– African News Agency (ANA)


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