Experts: Medupi will make 'little difference' in ending load shedding

Medupi power plant done - 14 years after construction started - but energy experts warn this will do little to end load shedding.

Eskom's Medupi power station. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - Energy experts said on Monday that it was unclear whether the completion of Eskom's Medupi Power Station in Limpopo, which had been under construction for 14 years, would help reduce load shedding.

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The total cost of this development to South Africa was understood to be more than R135 billion.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said that Medupi's operational life was 50 years.

"This is an investment that will serve generations of the people of South Africa and power the economy for at least the next half-century. The commercial operations status means that technical compliance to statutory, safety and legal requirements have all been met."

Energy expert, Roger Lily said the 800 megawatts from Medupi would make a little difference due to the existing old infrastructure at Eskom's other power stations.

“800 megawatts while lower than stage 1 load shedding, which is about 1,000 megawatts, is still good news. However, there is still unfortunately serious concern and that is, although this new power station is up and running, many of the older ones are still troublesome.”

Another energy expert Chris Yelland said this would have little impact on the daily contribution to the grid.

“This generation unit has been generating into these other groups for a year. So the impact from one grid to the next is not going to be significant.”

Eskom has been battling to supply reliable and consistent electricity for years due to corruption, mismanagement and breakdowns at its aging power stations.

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