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CAPE TOWN - Eskom's Unit 4 located at Medupe Power Station Project has achieved 'commercial operation' status, the power utility announced on Tuesday.

This comes after completion of control, performance and the 30-day reliability run, putting all performance guarantees into effect.

According to Eskom, the Commercial Operation status ensures technical compliance with statutory, safety and legal requirements. This signatory milestone marks the contractual handover of the unit from the primary contractors to Eskom.

"This milestone was achieved ahead of the scheduled timeline of July 2018. With an output of 794 megawatts going to the national grid, Unit 4 joins its sister units, Unit 6 and 5, which have been contributing to the balancing of electricity supply and demand since 23 August 2015 and 3 April 2017 respectively," Eskom said in a statement.

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Medupi Unit 4 project milestones:

Chart: Supplied

Eskom Interim Group Chief Executive, Sean Maritz said, "Eskom New Build team is giving the country an assurance that we are indeed serious about delivering the New Build projects on time and within budget. Despite all the challenges we are faced with as an organisation and our perceived image in the public domain, this amazing results strengthen our determination to make sure that despite our challenges, we continue to deliver on our projects."

"New Build is at the core of making sure that we continue to build excess electricity capacity and contribute to the economic growth of the country at large,” Maritz added.

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The Department of Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown applauded Eskom for this achievement, saying "This is further testimony that the revised new build programme is on track and realised under difficult economic conditions".