02 September 2019

South Africa’s state-owned power utility, Eskom has successfully synchronized Unit 1 of the
Medupi Power Station, set to be the largest dry-cooled power station in the
world once complete, to the national power grid.

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said that the first
synchronisation is a key milestone as the generation unit heads into commercial
operation. The plan is to achieve commercial operation by November 2020.

“Delivering Unit 1 ahead of time is an indication
that Team Medupi and its contractors are committed to deliver the project to
the nation. This achievement signifies that Medupi is nearing its completion
and is on track to reach commercialization by the end of 2020. Unit 1 at Medupi
will eventually ramp up to full power of 800 MW,” said Oberholzer.

He further pointed out that Unit 1 is
currently in the testing and optimisation phase, which means that Unit 1 will
deliver power intermittently for the time being and help bolster the grid. It
is the last of its six new units at Medupi.

The Medupi Power Station which will also be the
fourth largest coal-fired power plant, is located in Lephalale, Limpopo. The
project is part of the large-scale power delivery projects intended to support
the grid system between the Limpopo and North West provinces.

The project is a greenfield coal-fired power plant comprising six units rated in total at 4,764MW installed capacity. It will be able to meet the electricity needs of 3.5 million households in the country. The US $13bn project has already generated over 300 work opportunities, for which more than 100 persons have been hired from local communities.

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