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South Africa’s New Coal Power Station “Great For The Country”

January 2, 2017

By Paul Homewood 






MSN report from South Africa:


Durban – It’s going to be a bumper year for the country with much optimism from experts about what is in store for 2017.

From major international events to new plans and projects for local government, experts say there is much to anticipate, especially in Durban.

Economist Professor Bonke Dumisa, a former Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive, said the province and country was in for a 2017 “boom”.

“SA economic fundamentals are sound and have always been sound. We are going to have a good year for sure,” Dumisa said.

He said the introduction of the first unit of Kusile, Eskom’s new power station, which was connected to the national grid for the first time on Monday, meant that South Africans would be smiling without having to worry about load shedding in the year ahead.

The greenfields, coal-fired power plant under construction near the Kendal Power Station in Mpumalanga, will comprise six units, each rated at an 800MW capacity when finished.

“This also means that businesses can plan ahead and meet their productivity goals, which is great for us as a country,” said Dumisa.


Western liberals want to stop South Africa having reliable power.

  1. Dung permalink
    January 2, 2017 10:33 am

    I believe Western Liberals also wish to ban sex, alcohol and Christmas.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      January 2, 2017 10:43 am

      Only for others.

  2. Graeme No.3 permalink
    January 2, 2017 10:51 am

    6 units of 800MW is a big power station, and being coal fired means that it is cheap electricity and available when wanted, and will ensure no more blackouts. Obviously South Africa needs advice on how to avoid this from the former DOE Department. Can’t the UK parcel up a good number of those experts and ship them to Cape Town ASAP?
    A camp on Robben Island should be suitable for a few years.

  3. January 2, 2017 10:58 am

    The professor is rather optimistic considering the real state of the economy, the levels of corruption in government at the highest levels and the controversies around ESKOM.

    • manicbeancounter permalink
      January 2, 2017 10:02 pm

      Your link is interesting. The article was written six months ago. I have converted the costs into £bn at current exchange rates.
      The 4800MW Kusile coal-fired power station has been under construction since since 2008. That is over 8 years to open the first of six units
      Planned costs £4.8bn
      Latest estimate £9.5bn (including Flue gas desulphurisation)
      Latest full estimate £13.3bn (including interest and contractor claims)

      There is also the 4764MW Medupi coal-fired power station situated near Lephalale in Limpopo province. Under construction since 2007, the first unit was opened on 23 August 2015. Again about 8 years to open the first unit.
      Initial Planned costs in 2007 for 6 units £4.1bn
      Latest estimate £8.0bn (same basis)
      Latest full estimate £9.1bn (including Flue gas desulphurisation, interest and contractor claims)

      When fully operational, the two mines will consume 28mt of coal a year, on top of the 122mt consumed by coal-fired power stations currently.
      In terms of CO2 emissions, also significant is the 40mt tonnes consumed for gasification and conversion into liquid fuels. South Africa has for a long time converted coal to liquids, being especially important in the 1970s and 1980s with anti-apartheid sanctions. But it takes 4 to 5 tonnes of coal to produce a tonne of liquid fuel. China was copying South Africa’s example, but for the reasons of energy security and (when oil prices were high) for cost savings – costs in 2013 were around $60 barrel of oil equivalent.

  4. Gerry, England permalink
    January 2, 2017 11:52 am

    The good professor is an ‘economist’ and their record of prediction is pretty poor. Nearly up there with pollsters.

    • rwoollaston permalink
      January 2, 2017 12:37 pm

      One thing I learnt many years ago is that economists only look at economic factors, nothing else. Hence, they are sometimes caught out.

  5. RogerJC permalink
    January 2, 2017 12:46 pm

    This is the second of two 6 x 800MW coal fired power stations under construction in South Africa. If only our Government would bite the bullet and construct the same here 9,600 MW of new capacity would sort out a lot of our supply problems. Oh but to dream!

  6. January 2, 2017 5:54 pm

    If these plants don’t have scrubbers, then this really isn’t very good news for S. Africa.

    • RogerJC permalink
      January 2, 2017 7:12 pm

      I assume by Scrubbers you mean Flue Gas Desulpherisation. It is being install during construction on Kusile, the second station, but is to be retro fitted to the first station, Medupi, before the SA emissions laws change in 2020. There is no provision for CCS and even dust is only going to be collected by fabric filters instead of the more normal Electro Static Precipitators.

      • The_Iceman_Cometh permalink
        January 3, 2017 5:07 pm

        Tsk! Fabric filters are far more efficient than electrostatic precipitators, and also more costly to run.

  7. Jackington permalink
    January 2, 2017 6:09 pm

    This is excellent news for the likes of me who visits RSA biennually on holiday. Lovely country apart from the power outages – same for Botswana and Namibia.

  8. martinbrumby permalink
    January 2, 2017 7:44 pm

    Of course, if left to our genius politicians and academics, they could always convert to clear felling of African virgin forest, pelletisation and call it sustainable biomass.
    Only producing half the energy at twice the cost. And probably as reliable as what they have had over the last few years.
    That thought alone will give them a large feeling in the trouser department.

  9. John F. Hultquist permalink
    January 2, 2017 7:52 pm

    Company’s description of the project:

  10. Russ Wood permalink
    January 4, 2017 2:52 pm

    The problem is that originally, South Africa built its coal-fired power stations on top of coal mines, so that only a conveyor belt was needed. Now that the ANC government insist that coal is bought from mines with ‘politically correct’ ownership, the small towns in the mining districts get a 20-ton coal truck going through their main street every couple of minutes, throughout the day. It’s not the COAL that’s the problem – it’s the pollution from overworked, undermaintained diesel trucks!

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