Eskom hails bright start to 2024 as new power unit comes online

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Joined: Nov 2016

Eskom started the new year with unit 5 of embattled Kusile Power Station synchronised to the national grid.

Unit 5 officially came online at 5.22pm on Sunday, adding 800MW to the grid. However supply will be intermittent during an initial six-month testing phase.

“As part of the generation recovery plan, the synchronisation of Kusile unit 5 marks another significant milestone of sustainably improving our generation performance,” said Eskom group executive for generation Bheki Nxumalo. “This will contribute much-needed power to the grid.”

“We are encouraged that this achievement of our recovery plan immediately follows the return of the three units that were brought online from end-September 2023, bringing a total of 3,200MW into the grid, which will further improve the energy availability factor (EAF) and help strengthen South Africa’s electricity capacity,” added Nxumalo.

The country enjoyed a load-shedding-free conclusion to 2023 after another torrid year for the national power utility. Future prospects appear brighter thanks to progress with Kusile’s unit 6 which is still under construction. Once complete Kusile will produce a maximum of 4,800MW, making it the world’s fourth-largest coal-fired power plant.

Eskom acting group CEO Calib Cassim said: “We remain focused on improving the performance of the generation fleet to reduce the impact of load-shedding felt countrywide, and to lessen the costs on supplementing capacity using the diesel-powered plant,” said Cassim.



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