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Kusile Power Station Project

Eskom's new coal-fired power station

The Specifications

Kusile is a coal-fired power station close to the existing Kendal Power Station in the Nkangala District of the Mpumalanga Province. The Kusile site is about 1 355 hectares in size, and is located on the Hartbeesfontein and Klipfontein farms. Kusile is the most advanced coal-fired power plant project in Eskom. As a rule, a coal-fired power station takes about ten years to build, but due to capacity constraints, the Kusile project has been fast-tracked and it is anticipated that it will take about eight years to complete.

The station will consist of six units, each rated at approximately 800 MW installed capacity, giving a total of 4800 MW. As such it will be one of the largest coal-fired power stations in the world, once finished. The power station will be coal fired, with the coal supplied by Anglo Coal (New Largo and Zondagfontein collieries). The combination of the resources is expected to yield not less than 800 million sales tons over a period of not less than 47 years.

The first unit is planned for commercial operation in 2014. The other units will be commissioned at approximately 8-month intervals, with the last unit expected to be in commercial operation by 2018. To date, the project is still on schedule to meet the target date.

Reducing Emissions

Kusile will be the first power station in South Africa to have Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) installed. FGD is the current state-of-the art technology used to remove oxides of sulphur (SOx), e.g. sulphur dioxide (SO2), from the exhaust flue gases in power plants that burn coal or oil. This technology is fitted as an atmospheric emission abatement technology, in line with current international practice, to ensure compliance with air quality standards, especially since the power station is located in a priority airshed or airshield.  The FGD plant is a totally-integrated chemical plant using limestone as feedstock and producing gypsum as a by-product. Gypsum is used in the manufacture of drywalls and ceilings.

Economic Impact

The construction of Kusile Power Station will have a major impact on the lives and the economy of the community of the Nkangala District, as homes and social infrastructure are being developed to serve the thousands of contractors working on site. Job creation is expected to peak at +12 000 direct jobs during construction. Nkangalas Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to increase by approximately 25% per year as a result of the construction activities. The power station will directly grow SAs GDP by approximately 0.35% per year. Approximately 40% of the project cost is expected to be spent locally. The estimated cost to completion of Kusile Power Station Project as of 31 July 2012 is R169.7 billion.  The majority of the main contracts have been awarded. The project has selected a total of 40 principal contractors at any given time who utilise further +300 subcontractors. Approximately 8 000 people are currently working on the construction site, of which more than 40% are from the local area.

Kusile contribution to the community

Kusile has enabled many residents from the neighbouring towns, such as eMalahleni, Delmas Ogies and Phola, to provide for their families after being employed at Kusile. Local businesses benefit immensely from the project, from the hospitality industry and catering to construction and material supply businesses. The whole project will have 40 contractors awarded and 10 contracts for main civils. During construction 14 000 people will be employed by the utility at the peak of the project and approximately 600 when its fully operational.  The project has a multi-package contract strategy, and included in the contracts is a strong focus on the requirement for local development (Competitive Supplier Development Programme).  The focus is on local employment, business development, sustainability and financial investiture to leave a long-term legacy in Mpumalanga and South Africa.

Success stories to date

It is estimated that Eskom and its contractors will spend R2.38 billion in Mpumalanga. To date, a total of R1.5 billion has been spent in the Mpumalanga Province. Over R50 billion has been contracted in Kusile, of which 67.63% has been committed for local content (South Africa). 

Socio-economic development

Eskom has put in place Information Centres in eMalahleni, Wilge and Delmas and these facilities offer local people an opportunity to get information on available employment and business opportunities at Kusile. Local people are also afforded an opportunity to register on the employment database at each of the Information Centres.

ASGISA (socio-economic-development)

Local to Local Business Beneficiation

  • 222 Local Companies already benefitting

  • R1.5 Billion spent on Local to local; suppliers and Contractors

  • Forecast: R900 Million for 2012/2013

Employment Creation

Current Employment

  • Total number employed: 10904 (people on site)

  • Total number employed: 5322 (Mpumalanga)

  • Locals to be employed: 300 (to Dec 2012)

  • Males: 3441

  • Female: 450

It is estimated that from 2007 - 2019 the project will have directly impacted 88 600 people. Some of the skills needed in the project include: Shutter hands, concrete hands, steel fixers and erectors, scaffold erectors, coded welders and riggers to name but a few.

Special Initiatives - Bursaries

Eskom offers a schools outreach programme, whereby learners have an opportunity to visit the project. During their visit, these learners have an opportunity to listen to career talks and join site tours offered by the various professionals in the project environment. Furthermore, Eskom has awarded bursaries to students around the Mpumalanga Province.

  • 2010 - 65 learners

  • 2011 - 72 learners

  • 2012 - 116 learners

  • 2013 - (140 Potential)* Estimate


Construction Progress

May 2008

July 2008

August 2008

August 2008

August 2009

ACC Columns - Unit 1 January 2010

Auxilliary Bay construction - January 2010

Turbine Generator Area - Unit 1 January 2010

Acc columns & lift shaft - unit 1

Construction on lift shaft