Medupi Power Station

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Medupi Power Station
Medupikragstasie, Ellisras, Limpopo, a.jpg
Medupi Power Station is located in South Africa
Medupi Power Station
Location of Medupi Power Station in South Africa
Country South Africa
Location Lephalale
Coordinates 23°42′00″S 27°33′00″E / 23.70000°S 27.55000°E / -23.70000; 27.55000Coordinates: 23°42′00″S 27°33′00″E / 23.70000°S 27.55000°E / -23.70000; 27.55000
Status Under construction
Commission date 2015 Q1
Owner(s) Eskom
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Coal
Power generation
Units under const. 6 × 798 MW
Nameplate capacity 4,788 MW

Medupi Power Station is a 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]

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] Alstom will provide the steam turbines,[3] 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.[4] The first 800 MW unit is expected to be commissioned in the middle of 2015, with the next units following at nine-month intervals. The power station was initially expected to cost R32 billion, but is now forecasted at R300 billion.[5]

Power Generation[edit]

On 18 February 2015 the Public Enterprises minister, Lynne Brown, announced that the number 6 turbine is running at the optimum speed of 3000 revolutions per minute.[6] Official news reports stated that the turbine will add 794 megawatts to the national grid.[7]


The building of the coal power station has attracted criticism.[8] 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.[9][10] Backers of the project argued that the plant is needed.[11] Some critics say that effective management of coal supplies was needed, not another coal station.[12]

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.[13]

See also[edit]