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Name of the Project
Kusile power plant project.
Mpumalanga, South Africa.
State-owned power utility Eskom.
The Kusile power station project, near the existing Kendal power station, in the Nkangala district of Mpumalanga, will comprise six units, each rated at an 800 MW installed capacity for a total capacity of 4 800 MW. Once completed, Kusile will be the fourth-largest coal-fired power station in the world.
The Kusile project will include a power station precinct, power station buildings, administrative buildings (control buildings and buildings for medical and security purposes), roads and a high-voltage yard.
The associated infrastructure will include a coal stockyard, coal and ash conveyors, temporary and permanent water-supply pipelines, temporary electricity supply during construction, water and wastewater treatment facilities, ash disposal systems, a railway line, limestone offloading facilities, access roads (including haul roads) and dams for water storage, as well as a railway siding and railway line to transport the limestone supply (sorbent).
The power station will be the first in South Africa to install wet flue-gas desulphurisation (WFGD) – a state-of-the-art technology used to remove oxides of sulphur, such as sulphur dioxide, from exhaust flue gases in power plants that burn coal or oil.
This technology abates atmospheric emissions, in line with current international practice, to ensure compliance with air-quality standards, especially since the power station is located in a priority air-shed area.
The WFGD plant is a totally integrated chemical plant using limestone as feedstock and producing gypsum as a by-product.
Each supercritical tower boiler will be about 115 m high. The air-cooled condensers will be constructed on and supported by twenty 60-m-high concrete columns.
Potential Job Creation
A comprehensive exit and outreach strategy, which aims to gradually upskill and release local labour to the job market, has been formalised in partnership with key stakeholders. This allows for project stability amid the gradual demobilisation of workers once milestones are achieved, and mitigating the risk of local community disruptions.
Planned Start/End Date
Kusile Unit 1 achieved commercial operation on August 30, 2017.
Kusile Unit 2 achieved first synchronisation on March 24, 2018, and achieved full load in January 2019. Commercial operation was achieved on October 29, 2020.
Kusile Unit 3 achieved first synchronisation on April 14, 2019, eight months ahead of schedule. Commercial operation was achieved in March 2021.
Kusile Unit 4 was connected to the national grid for the first time on December 23, 2021, and was formally handed over to the generation division on May 31, 2022, following five months of testing and optimisation.
Eskom Acting group executive Thomas Conradie has confirmed that progress is being made to secure an exemption from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to enable the Kusile power station to install temporary flues that by-passed the flue-gas desulphurisation system.
Eskom is proceeding with preparations to install the temporary flues on units 1, 2 and 3, which became inoperable in October 2022, owing to a build-up of slurry in the Unit 1 flue, leading to its eventual collapse. The flue collapsed in a way that also damaged the unit 2 and 3 flues, which are housed in the same chimney stack as the Unit 1 flue.
Eskom has also started with the manufacturing processes for the temporary stacks.
The order enables the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) and the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA's) Asset Forfeiture Unit to preserve two portions of a farm being used as a lodge – the Casambo Exclusive Guest Lodge, a commercial property in Mbombela; a house in an estate; a Lotus Europa sports car; two VW Polo Vivos; a Subaru Impreza; a Toyota Hilux; a golf cart; and a quad bike.
The SIU and NPA have said that the implicated company is Tamukelo Business Enterprises, which provided water trucking services for the Kusile project from June 2009 to November 2020.
Preliminary investigations by the SIU revealed that Eskom, in respect of this case, lost almost R400-million from the unlawful tender that was granted to the vendor.
The NPA and SIU have said that, in respect of the latest preservation order, the two entities will now seek a forfeiture order, which means the properties can then be sold at a public auction and the money returned to Eskom.
Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Eskom, in partnership with Black & Veatch International (project management and engineering services); Ninham Shand Consulting Services (environmental-impact assessment, geotechnical investigation and traffic impact); AirShed Planning Professionals (air-quality impact); Jongens Keet Associates (noise impact); Strategic Environmental Focus, or SEF (visual impacts); Makecha Development Association (impacts on terrestrial fauna and flora); Golder Associates, through Ecosun (aquatic-ecosystem impact); Groundwater Consulting Services (groundwater impact); Ilitha Riscom (risk assessment); Northern Flagship Institution (archaeological impact); University of the Free State (impacts on agricultural potential); Urban-Econ (socioeconomic impacts); Seaton Thomson & Associates (planning implications); Mark Wood Environmental Consultants (process review); Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa, or MHPSA, a subsidiary of Hitachi Power Europe, or HPE (boiler contract); Actom, formerly Alstom S&E Africa (main turbine area); ABB SA (C&I, including supply of medium-voltage switchgear and associated equipment); Mikropul, subcontracted by Alstom (axial-flow fans and auxiliary equipment for the turbine halls'ventilation); GE (EPC of six turbine islands, air-cooled condensers and WFGD); Alstom (WFGD); Murray & Roberts, or M&R (boiler construction contract); Roshcon, a subsidiary of Eskom (enabling civils, terracing construction and site services); Concrete Finishing Equipment (dust filters, and silo and environmental safety); Kusile Civil Works, or KCW, Joint Venture (JV), comprising Stefanutti Stocks, Basil Read, Group Five and WBHO Construction (main civil works); Siemens (generator transformers and electrical and auxiliary power); EsorFranki Geotechnical, formerly Franki Africa, and Stefanutti Stocks Geotechnical JV, under a subcontract to KCW JV (piling works for the turbine, boiler and air-cooled condensers); Concor Karrena JV (construction of chimney shells/structures); Tubular (engineering, supply and installation of FGD system); DSE Structural Engineers & Contractors, subcontracted by Genrec Engineering (fabrication of steel columns for boilers 1 to 3); Steel Services Direct, or SSD (steel, pipes and wax plants); GB Bearings (supplier of HSR horizontal bearing assemblies and profile bore bearings); Sulzer Pumps South Africa, subcontracted by Actom (supply of booster and boiler feed pumps); Steloy Castings, subcontracted by Sulzer Pumps South Africa (supply of chrome steel components for the pumps); Clyde Bergemann Power Group, subcontracted by MHPSA (supplier of sootblowers for boilers); Clyde Bergemann Africa (fly ash handling system); PD Naidoo & Associates, or PDNA, Industrial Projects (main water and wastewater treatment contractor); GE Water Engineered Systems, subcontracted by PDNA Industrial Projects (advanced water and wastewater treatment equipment); Bateman Africa (coal stockyard and terrace materials handling systems); Lesedi Nuclear Services (procurement and supply of the balance of plant equipment); Grinaker-LTA Metals & Minerals (supply and erection of piping, steelwork and free-issue chemicals); US Export-Import Bank, or Ex-Im Bank (loan finance); TBD (railroad construction and combustion water terrace construction phases 1 and 2); Zest WEG Group (auxiliary transformers); Aberdare Cables, a Powertech company within the JSE-listed Altron Group (cables); Konecranes (heavy duty cranes); Energy Engineered Products (supply of valves); and Turnmill Proquip Engineering (material for boiler ducting).
Contact Details for Project Information
Eskom media desk, email firstname.lastname@example.org.