Unit 2 of Eskom’s Medupi power station has come online eight months ahead of schedule.

According to the utility Unit 2 at Medupi Power Station produced its first power on Sunday, 7 October, ahead of the June 2019 schedule.

The unit was loaded to 400MW, making it the fifth of the six Medupi units to be synchronised to the national grid.

“The achievement of Unit 2 first synchronisation marks a key milestone towards full commercial operation of the unit. 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,” said Eskom’s Group Executive for Group Capital, Abram Masango.

Testing and optimisation

Medupi Acting Project Director Zandi Shange said the next step will be the testing and optimisation of the unit, resulting in the unit being able to generate full power of 794MW of electricity feeding into the national grid for the country’s consumption.

“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,” she said.

The plant, which is located in Lephalale, Limpopo, is a greenfields coal-fired power plant comprising six units rated in total at 4 764MW installed capacity.

Construction activities at the plant commenced in May 2007 and once completed, it will be the fourth largest coal-fired power plant, and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world.