Medupi 'inching towards target' as daily load shedding continues: Eskom

14 May 2015 - 17:07 By RDM News Wire

Eskom’s goal of producing power from the massive Medupi project is “slowly inching towards target”‚ having run for six days without tripping during the current test phase. This comes as South Africa is experiencing daily load-shedding of electricity to consumers‚ as the utility battles to meet the country’s needs.This afternoon‚ Eskom again announced it will implement stage one load-shedding from 4pm‚ which it said was likely to continue until 10pm this evening.In an update statement on the crucial Medupi project‚ bedevilled by labour strife and resultant construction delays‚ Eskom said the first unit of the new power station‚ Medupi Unit 6‚ had “reached a new output level of 735MW generated on Monday‚ 11 May 2015”.The unit also ran for a record of six days and four hours without a trip until Sunday‚ 03 May‚ Eskom said‚ calling it a significant achievement since its synchronisation on 02 March.This “indicates that it is closer to achieve the maximum load of 794 MW‚” Eskom said.“We are pleased with this significant milestone and believe that power from this unit will go a long way in alleviating the capacity challenges we are facing‚” Eskom’s Acting Chief Executive Brian Molefe said.Medupi Unit 6 is being progressively commissioned to ensure that the power it delivers is stable‚ consistent and reliable. During this testing phase‚ the unit is not expected to stay on load for long periods of time and will deliver power intermittently.“However‚ during the peak demand periods‚ testing stops and power is generated to alleviate pressure on the grid‚” Eskom said. “Such calls to alleviate pressure on the grid have seen the unit generating electricity for 147 hours continuously which also serves to prove Unit 6’s capability thus far.”Medupi consists of six units of approximately 794 MW each‚ for a total of 4764MW‚ which is approximately 12% of Eskom’s total installed capacity. Once complete‚ Medupi will be the fourth largest coal power station and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world.Eskom said Unit 6 will progressively be tested and fine-tuned further until the project is satisfied that the systems are fully operable and reliable for final handover. This is also to ensure that the unit is safe to operate.-RDM News Wire

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