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Kusile Unit 3 achieves synchronisation to the national grid

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

The Kusile power plant, situated near Emalahleni in Mpumalanga, reached a new milestone on Sunday 14 April 2019 when Unit 3 was synchronised to the grid and produced its first power in the early evening.

The unit was loaded and kept stable at 60 MW, making it the third of the six units at Kusile power plant to be synchronised to the national grid.


The first synchronisation of Unit 3 marks a key milestone towards the full commercial operation of the unit. The next step will be testing and optimisation of the unit over several months which means it will be providing intermittent power to the grid, and at times may even provide zero megawatts. Once all the testing is done, the unit will be fully powered at 800 MW and feed into the national grid for the country’s consumption.


“Unit 3 was synchronised more than eight months ahead of the approved target date of December 2019. Once Unit 3 has attained full power, it will be a step closer to be commercially operational which is currently targetted at November 2019,” Eskom’s Chief Operations Officer Jan Oberholzer said.


“I would like to thank everyone involved in this mammoth project, particularly the Kusile leadership and staff for achieving this significant and highly commendable milestone for Eskom and for the country. Thank you too for your continued commitment and for going the many extra miles in striving to achieve Eskom’s objectives. We are proud of your collective achievements and we salute you all,” Oberholzer added.


The construction and commissioning activities on the remaining three Kusile units, namely Unit 4, 5 and 6, is progressing well.  Once completed, Kusile’s six units will produce a total of 4800 MW.


Kusile is the first power plant in South Africa and Africa to use wet flue gas desulfurisation (WFGD) technology. WFGD is the current state-of-the-art technology used to remove oxides of sulfur (SOx), for example, sulfur dioxide (SO2), from the exhaust flue gas in power plants that burn coal or oil. Eskom is fitting WFGD to the Kusile plant as an atmospheric emission abatement technology, in line with current international practice, to ensure compliance with air quality standards.

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