Thursday, September 9, 2010

Medupi and Kusile: supercritical giants of South Africa

The Medupi Power Station is a new dry-cooled coal fired power station being built by Eskom near Lephalale in Limpopo province, South Africa. When completed, the power station will have six boilers each powering an 800 MW turbine, producing 4800 MW of power. This will be the largest dry-cooled coal fired power station in the world. Kusile is a similar project to the north west of Johannesburg.

An article in Modern Power Systems (April 2009) warrants attention:

The 6 x 794 MW (gross) Medupi supercritical coal fired power plant is the biggest fossil power plant ever ordered by Eskom of South Africa, and will be the first baseload power plant to be built in the country in 20 years. Eskom has also awarded contracts for an identical follow-on plant, known as Kusile.

Key Points:

A wide range of mechanical and electrical skills will be transferred to local industry through a period of three to four years of training in such fields as design, building, maintenance and electrical technology.

Local industry will also benefit from the new power projects, which are required to have 50% local content, with a number of major components to be manufactured in South Africa (as well as Europe and China). This high level of local manufacture will create significant challenges, especially in conjunction with the ongoing infrastructure development related to the 2010 World Cup.

Indeed, South Africa is currently experiencing a period of unprecedently high capital investment, with consequent strain on the local supply chains. But so far South Africa’s indigenous industry is coping and seems up to the task of delivering the skills and equipment required to bring these giant projects in on time.

The full article is courtesy Modern Power Systems April 2009 Edition

You can read more about Medupi here