Eskom: Medupi and Kusile stations to be active by 2014

South Africa can expect electricity next year from coal-fired power stations Medupi in Limpopo and Kusile in Mpumalanga, Eskom said on Wednesday.

The first of six 794MW units at Medupi would produce electricity in the second half of 2014, the parastatal said in a statement.

Kusile's first unit would produce electricity by December 2014. Kusile has six 800MW units.

The rest of the units in both power stations would go online in eight-month intervals until completion in 2018.

In July, Eskom said Medupi was six months behind schedule and would fail to meet its December 2013 target. The state power utility blamed technical problems for the delay.


"[We] earlier communicated that critical technical challenges need to be resolved in order for unit six to begin producing power. These technical challenges relate to the welding on the boilers, and the control and instrumentation systems for the units. In addition are the ongoing labour challenges," Eskom said at the time.

Strong measures
This was not the first delay because of welding problems. Previously, faults in factory welds had been discovered.

In May, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said strong measures were taken against Hitachi for its sub-standard work on the Limpopo power station.

Construction at Medupi was delayed due to failures by Hitachi to deliver top quality boilers at the plant.

Earlier this year, Eskom chief executive Brian Dames was quoted as saying that Eskom was considering cancelling two key contracts with Hitachi – in which the ANC's investment arm Chancellor House had a 25% stake and Alstom.

But later, the utility's spokesperson Hilary Joffe said there were no immediate plans to cancel the contracts, and that Hitachi was still in charge of building the boilers.

In January, Eskom temporarily closed the power station when contract workers went on strike. Construction was also interrupted in September when workers downed tools.

Workers belonging to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa had questioned the way their year-end bonuses were calculated, and complained that employees who lived in the area were paid less than workers who came in from Johannesburg.

Gigaba said in March the construction deadline would not change. He said strict penalties would be imposed on contractors should they fail to meet their obligations. – Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sapa
Guest Author

Related stories

Koko claims bias before Zondo commission

In a lawyer’s letter, the former Eskom chief executive says the commission is not being fair to him

This is how the SIU catches crooks

Athandiwe Saba talked to the Special Investigating Unit’s Andy Mothibi about its caseload, including 1 000 Covid contracts

Eskom could be fined R5-million over pollution at Kendal power station

The power utility is being taken to court by the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in a first-of-its-kind criminal prosecution

Editorial: Crocodile tears from the coalface

Pumping limited resources into a project that is predominantly meant to extend dirty coal energy in South Africa is not what local communities and the climate needs.

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

‘We struggle for water, but power stations and coal mines don’t’

A proposed pipeline will bring water polluted with Gauteng’s sewage to the Waterberg in Limpopo to boost the coal industry during the climate crisis
Advertising

Subscribers only

FNB dragged into bribery claims

Allegations of bribery against the bank’s chief executive, Jacques Celliers, thrown up in a separate court case

Dozens of birds and bats perish in extreme heat in...

In a single day, temperatures in northern KwaZulu-Natal climbed to a lethal 45°C, causing a mass die-off of birds and bats

More top stories

North West premier goes off the rails

Supra Mahumapelo ally Job Mokgoro’s defiance of party orders exposes further rifts in the ANC

Construction sites are a ‘death trap’

Four children died at Pretoria sites in just two weeks, but companies deny they’re to blame

Why the Big Fish escape the justice net

The small fish get caught. Jails are used to control the poor and disorderly and deflect attention from the crimes of the rich and powerful.

Koko claims bias before Zondo commission

In a lawyer’s letter, the former Eskom chief executive says the commission is not being fair to him
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…