“The unit was officially declared commercial after the completion of control, performance and the 30-day reliability run, putting all performance guarantees to effect,” said the power utility on Tuesday.
Unit 4 of the power station, which is located in Limpopo, reached full power 19 June 2017. The significant achievement came after 20 days since its successful synchronisation on 31 May 2017. Five months later after further tests were conducted, this unit is now declared to be in full commercial operation.
This milestone was achieved ahead of the scheduled timeline of July 2018.
With an output of 794 megawatts going to the national grid, Unit 4 joins its sister units, Unit 6 and 5, which have been contributing to the balancing of electricity supply and demand since 23 August 2015 and 3 April 2017, respectively.
“We are proud of this achievement. This accomplishment is a reflection of hard work and team effort. Eskom applauds the Medupi team, under the leadership of Phillip Dukashe. This is indeed an embodiment of delivery and excellence. Well done to the Medupi team!” said Peter Sebola, the Acting Group Executive: Group Capital Division.
Eskom Interim Group Chief Executive, Sean Maritz said: “Eskom’s new build team is giving the country an assurance that we are indeed serious about delivering the New Build projects on time and within budget.
“Despite all the challenges we are faced with as an organisation and our perceived image in the public domain, these amazing results strengthen our determination to make sure that despite our challenges, we continue to deliver on our projects. New build is at the core of making sure that we continue to build excess electricity capacity and contribute to the economic growth of the country at large.”
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has commended Eskom for a job well done.
“This achievement is further testimony that the revised new build programme is on track and realised under difficult economic conditions.”
Commercial operation status ensures technical compliance to statutory, safety and legal requirements. This signatory milestone marks the contractual handover of the unit from the primary contractors to Eskom. Medupi Unit 4 is now part of the Eskom Generation fleet.
Medupi is a green-fields coal-fired power plant comprising six units rated in total at 4 764 MW installed capacity. Construction activities commenced in May 2007 and the power station will have full installed capacity by 2020.
Unit 5 was first synchronised to the national grid on 8 September 2016, reached full power (794 MW) on 17 December 2016 and attained commercial operation on 3 April 2017.
Unit 6 attained commercial operation on 23 August 2015 and was officially opened by President Jacob Zuma on 30 August 2015.
Once completed, the power station will be the fourth largest coal-fired plant and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world.