Medupi, Kusile to be completed by 2021

Eskom says South Africa's two new coal-fired stations, Medupi and Kusile, will be completed by 2021.

Power lines leaving Eskom’s Duvha power station, 15km east of Witbank. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says South Africa's two new giant coal-fired stations, Medupi and Kusile, are expected to be completed by 2021.

Abram Masango, acting divisional executive for group Capital, confirmed the date at a briefing in Cape Town this afternoon.

"Our estimation is that the entire bill will be complete by 2021."

Medupi Power Station is about five years behind schedule as a result of labour strife and problems with contractors its first unit recently came online.

At the same time, Eskom says it will embark on what it calls a massive maintenance festival this long weekend in an effort to improve the performance and reliability of its generating units.

South Africans have experienced regular load shedding since the beginning of this year, due to technical breakdowns, but also because extensive maintenance work needs to be done.

The utility has repeatedly emphasised that the power system is old, and requires ongoing maintenance but its currently experiencing a major backlog.

In order to keep the lights on during winter technicians will have to play catch up.