Medupi Power Station

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Medupi Power Station
Medupi Power Station is located in South Africa
Medupi Power Station
Location of Medupi Power Station
Country South Africa
Location Lephalale
Coordinates 23°42′S 27°33′E / 23.700°S 27.550°E / -23.700; 27.550Coordinates: 23°42′S 27°33′E / 23.700°S 27.550°E / -23.700; 27.550
Status Under construction
Commission date 2013
Owner(s) Eskom
Power generation
Primary fuel Coal
Units operational 6 × 798 MW
Nameplate capacity none (installed)
4,788 MW (max. planned)

Medupi Power Station is a new dry-cooled coal-fired power station being built by Eskom near Lephalale in Limpopo province, South Africa. According to Eskom, the name chosen for the station, Medupi, is a Sepedi word for "rain that soaks parched lands".[1] Medupi Power Station will have a 50 year design lifespan.

Power Output[edit]

When completed, the power station is to have six boilers each powering an 800 MW turbine, producing 4800 MW of power. It is expected to become the largest dry-cooled coal-fired power station in the world.[2]

Construction Contracts[edit]

The project is broken down into 38 large contracts.

Contracts have been placed with:

  • Parsons Brinckerhoff providing engineering and project management support,
  • Hitachi to supply the boilers,
  • Alstom to provide the steam turbines,[3]
  • Murray and Roberts to construct the main civils,
  • Basil Read
  • Aveng to construct buildings,
  • ThyssenKrupp Materials Handling to construct the coal stockpile yard.

The population of the area is expected to double during construction, requiring extensive logistical planning and support.

Technology[edit]

  • Dry cooling – a critical issue for South Africa where water scarcity is an important matter. For this reason Medupi will use dry cooling technology.
  • Super-critical boilers - will be used to improve the efficiency of the power plant. This baseload power station is the first in Eskom to

have super critical boiler and turbine technology designed to operate at higher temperatures and pressures. [4]

  • Fabric filtration - to reduce ash emissions, and low NOx burners which control the temperature of combustion and so reduce NOx emissions by around 40%.
  • Flue gas desulphurisation - which reduces sulphur dioxide emissions by at least 90% by reacting it with a limestone sorbent, will be retrofitted at Medupi. These constitute investments into air pollution control technology.

Coal Supply[edit]

Medupi will be supplied by coal from Exxaro's Grootegeluk coal mine, located north of the site. Eskom has placed a contract with Exxaro to supply 14.6 MT of coal per year for 40 years.[5]

Commissioning[edit]

The first 800 MW unit is expected to be commissioned in early 2014, with the next units following at nine-month intervals. The power station is currently expected to cost R170 Billion.[6]

Critics[edit]

The building of the coal power station has attracted widespread criticism in South Africa.[7] Critics have alleged that the government pushed the project forward because the African National Congress held a 25% share of the venture and stood to make a profit of close to 1 Billion rand on the deal.[8][9] Backers of the project argued that the plant is needed to supply vital electricity to South Africa over the long term.[10] Some point out that effective management of coal supplies was what was really needed, rather than yet another environmentally unfriendly coal station.[11]

The African Development Bank lent $500 million for the project in 2008. In 2010, the World Bank agreed to lend South Africa $3.75 billion to assist with several energy projects, with $3.05 billion allocated for completion of the Medupi power station. The approval of the World Bank loan drew criticism for supporting increased global emissions of greenhouse gases.[12]


See also[edit]

References[edit]