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Koeberg power station launches desalination plant

14 February 2018 - 12:21 By Penwell Dlamini
A kite-surfer near the Koeberg nuclear power station. File photo.
A kite-surfer near the Koeberg nuclear power station. File photo.

Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station launched its groundwater desalination plant on Wednesday. It will take care of the power station’s water needs and ease pressure on the City of Cape Town’s water supply.

Power station manager Velaphi Ntuli said the plant is part of Koeberg’s three-pronged water management strategy to address water shortages in the Western Cape while ensuring it is able to provide safe and sustainable electricity.

The strategy entails “reducing the power station’s daily water use‚ keeping adequate on-site water storage‚ and looking at alternative water supplies (groundwater and seawater)”.

“When the City of Cape Town called on the people of the Western Cape to address the water issue‚ we had to respond with a sustainable solution as a responsible corporate citizen. To this end we have saved approximately 115‚000 kilolitres since June 2017‚ compared to previous averages. This equates to the City of Cape Town supplying 10.5 kilolitres of water to approximately 11‚000 houses for a month. Our water tanks are kept full to cater for emergencies‚” said Ntuli.

Koeberg‚ Africa’s only nuclear power station‚ provides 50% of the Western Cape’s energy needs and about 5.6% of South Africa’s energy needs. It can only operate for about two weeks without off-site potable water.

Ntuli said the power station saves 22-billion litres of fresh water per annum as its condensers are cooled by seawater‚ which is returned to the sea after use.