Eskom to start up third unit at Kusile coal-fired power station

South Africa will begin operating Unit 3 at the Kusile coal-fired power station this week, state-owned utility Eskom said on Wednesday, marking the halfway point in a long delayed R118.5 billion ($8 billion) project which began in 2008.

“This brings to three the number of generation units that have achieved commercial status at the project, generating a maximum 2 400MW to support the South African power grid,” Eskom said in a statement.


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Eskom provides more than 90% of the electricity needed by Africa’s most industrialised nation, but has had to implement nationwide blackouts due to repeated faults at its ailing coal-fired power stations, severely constraining economic growth.

In February and March it cut power regularly in order to perform maintenance at its plants.

This month it faced uncertainty on about 6 000 MW of its nominal capacity of more than 44 000 MW and expects electricity supply to remain volatile until maintenance is completed by September.