Unit 3 of six at Eskom’s Kusile power station in Mpumalanga has achieved commercial operation status. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Unit 3 of six at Eskom’s Kusile power station in Mpumalanga has achieved commercial operation status. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Eskom’s Kusile plant half- way to achieving full commercial operation status

By Jehran Daniel Time of article published Mar 31, 2021

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Durban - South African power utility company Eskom announced on Wednesday that unit 3 of the Kusile power station in Mpumalanga has achieved commercial operation status.

Turning the 800 megawatt (MW) unit into commercial status, according to an Eskom statement, marks the project’s halfway point since testing and optimisation of the unit was first synchronised into the national grid in April 2019.

The total number of generation units that have gained commercial status at the project is now three, with a maximum generation of 2,400MW to support the South African power grid.

Eskom’s group executive for capital projects Bheki Nxumalo commended the Eskom team for their hard work.

“Bringing this unit to commercial operation is a major milestone for Eskom and the employees involved in the project, who are working hard to ensure Eskom fulfils its promise of bringing stability to the power system,” Nxumalo said on Wednesday.

Eskom also thanked the team at the Kusile project who worked “under challenging conditions during periods of load shedding and the Covid-19 restrictions”.

Eskom said that the construction, testing and optimisation activities on the remaining three units, some of which currently provide support to the country’s power grid irregularly, are on the way as well.

The Kusile plant in Mpumalanga is the first power station in South Africa and Africa to use wet flue gas desulphurisation (WFGD) technology. WFGD is a process that removes sulphur dioxide from the exhaust flue gas in power plants that burn coal or oil.

In an effort to ensure compliance with air quality standards and its commitments to some of the funders of the project, Eskom said that they will be fitting the WFGD technology to the Kusile plant.

African News Agency

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