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Eskom links Medupi new coal-fired unit to national grid

The coal-fired unit in Limpopo province is a rare example of a Medupi project that has been completed ahead of time.

FILE: Medupi power station. Picture: Supllied.

JOHANNESBURG – Power utility Eskom has linked unit four of its Medupi coal power station, which has been marred by delays, to the grid, the state-owned power utility said on Tuesday.

The coal-fired unit in South Africa’s Limpopo province is a rare example of a Medupi project that has been completed ahead of time. It was scheduled for completion in July of 2018.

Medupi will contribute 794 megawatts to the national grid and join the already linked units five and six, Eskom said in a statement.

Eskom says the station is now halfway to completion, with three of the six units connected to the grid.

Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said: “Unit 4 of the Medupi Power Station has joined unit 5 and is now fully commercially operational. This is good news for Eskom and the country as a whole because we’ve been working on this station for several years now and we’re now getting closer to where we need to be.”

Medupi, which was started in 2007 in an effort to boost the national electricity supply, has been plagued by labour disruptions, technical faults and cost overruns.

South Africa had regular power cuts in 2015 that hit key industries when demand exceeded capacity.