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Komati Power Station

Location: The station is situated between Middelburg and Bethal in Mpumalanga.

The Planning of Komati Power Station started during the mid 1950's on the farm Koornfontein. The deed of transfer of the land was signed on 22 November 1957. Site levelling started in April 1958 and the first unit, Unit 5, was commissioned on 06 November 1961 and Unit 9, the last, in March 1966.
Mothballing of Komati
During the mid 80's a decision was made to take out units and later the entire Power Station was out of service, mainly because of the following reasons:
- Surplus capacity
- Increasing maintenance costs of the older plant
- To be able to put newly built power stations, such as Majuba, in commercial service and make use of the guarantee period.
Return to service
It was also decided not to let the plant deteriorate but to conserve it properly to return it at a later stage. The conservation process was called mothballing. The first plant to be mothballed was Turbine 5 on 15 December 1987 followed by Boiler 3 on 26 March 2010. The rest of the plant was mothballed at intervals thereafter and the last to be mothballed was Unit 4 on 06 December 1990. Different methods were used to prevent deterioration of the plant, such as painting, the use of vapour corrosion inhibitors (VCI) and the passing of dehumidified air through the boilers, turbine feed and steam circuits and the generators. Komati Power Station reached a huge landmark on the 9th of February 2012 with 6 units on load for the first time since 5 October 1989. Calculated, this means having 6 units available after 22 years, 3 months and 4 days. In the early 2000’s a decision was taken to return Komati Power Station to service to meet the growing demand of electricity. The User Requirement Specification was compiled and approved on 14 August 2006. The units were returned to service starting with unit 9; this unit was declared fit for Commercial Operation on the 24th of December 2008. Unit 8 followed on 1st of March 2009. With a goal of being the “Best return To Service Power Station By Far” and a motto of “We are Powered by Performance”, Komati won most of the winter challenge awards for 2010. This proved that Komati is not only the best Return to service Station by far but the best in Production Unit Coal 3. Komati ended up TOP in Plant Performance in 2010. Komati set a new goal in 2010 to “Be the Best of the Best in Generation” More than a year later unit 7 was declared fit for Commercial Operation on the 12th of July 2010. Unit 4 followed on 29 December 2011 and unit 5 on 3 February 2012. Unit 6 has not yet been declared Commercial but this will follow soon. By the close of 2012 Komati will have 9 units running with a total generation capacity of 1000 MW.
Technical details
Komati was one of the first pulverised fuel firing stations and designed to generate 1000 MW with five units rated at 100 MW and four at 125 MW
- Five 100 MW Units
- Four 125 MW Units
- Installed capacity: 1000 MW
- Design efficiency of rated turbine MCR (%): 30.00%
Komati is situated about 37km from Middelburg, 43km from Bethal and 40km from Witbank, via Vandyksdrift. The terrace is 1600 meters above sea level.