Unit 2 at Eskom-owned Medupi power station, in Limpopo, was loaded to 400 MW on Sunday afternoon, making it the fifth of the six Medupi units to be synchronised to the national grid.
The unit produced first power on Sunday morning, at around 11:53.
First synchronisation or first power is when the generator in the unit is, for the first time, electrically connected to the national power grid so that it is aligned with all other generators on the grid.
It will then start to generate and deliver electricity into the grid over several months.
During the testing and optimisation phase, Unit 2 will be delivering power intermittently, thereby contributing towards stability of the country’s electricity supply.
Eskom group capital group executive Abram Masango says the achievement of Unit 2’s first synchronisation, eight months ahead of the June 2019 schedule, marks a key milestone towards full commercial operation of the unit.
He elaborated that the lessons learnt on previous units were implemented on Unit 2, leading to the swiftness in delivering first power.
“This is an amazing achievement, taking us closer to completing the entire Medupi project, as we will be left with one unit,” he enthused, adding that the project is expected to be concluded in time, with “a positive legacy for all”.
The project’s team was led by Medupi acting project director Zandi Shange, the first woman project director of a new build megaproject.
“The delivery of Unit 2 affirms to everyone who has been part of the project that they are capable of delivering a world-class power station. This would not have been achieved without the dedication of the team. As we approach the last stretch of the project, we will apply the same vigour as we work towards the unit’s commercial operation, as well as synchronising the remaining unit,” Shange commented.
Looking ahead, the next step will be the testing and optimisation of the unit, resulting in the unit being able to generate full power of 794 MW of electricity feeding into the national grid for the country’s consumption.