Eskom has linked up unit five of its Medupi coal power station to the grid, the Ministry of Public Enterprises said on Thursday, as part of the state-controlled company’s drive to overcome South Africa’s chronic electricity shortages.
“Over the past 18 months, we have seen 1,800 MW (megawatts) being added to the grid and the new build programme will add 8,600 MW of new capacity by 2020/21,” Minister Lynne Brown said in a statement.
Eskom, which has in the past been forced to impose power cuts due to insufficient supply, is scrambling to revamp its ageing power plants.
Unit five of the coal-fired Medupi plant will add an additional 800 MW to the grid. It is expected it will become commercially operational by March 2018, the ministry said.
Other Eskom projects include the Ingula hydro-powered plant and the Kusile coal-fired plant in the northeast of KwaZulu-Natal and eastern Mpumalanga provinces respectively, with a combined capacity of about 6,132 MW.