Medupi Power Station

South Africa has commissioned the first unit of the 4.8GW Medupi power station, which is expected to help solve the country’s energy shortage issues.

South African President Jacob Zuma said: "Unit 6 adds 794MW to the national grid."

Developed by state-owned Eskom Holdings, the facility is claimed to be the largest coal-fired power station in the country as well as being the largest dry-cooled one in the world.

Construction on the plant started in May 2007, is scheduled to be operating at full capacity by 2019.

"The two projects…are outcomes of Eskom’s efforts to ease the power crisis in the country, which has been experiencing major blackouts."

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has delivered and installed the first 80MW boiler for the power station, in coordination with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa.

The facility will be equipped with five more 80MW boilers, MHPS said.

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Along with Medupi, Eskom is developing another 4.8GW coal-fired energy facility at Kusile, which is east of Johannesburg. MHPS is also responsible for supplying six 80MW boilers for that facility.

The two projects, totalling generation capacity of 9.6GW of thermal energy, are outcomes of Eskom’s efforts to ease the power crisis in the country, which has been experiencing major blackouts.

Zuma said: "Shortage of energy is a serious impediment to economic growth."

Image: The 4.8GW Medupi Power station is expected to be at full capacity by 2019. Photo: courtesy of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd.