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Medupi power station project
Background
 
The Medupi Power Station Project is a green-fields coal-fired power plant located west of Lephalale, Limpopo Province, South Africa.
 
Medupi is the first base-load station to be built in 20 years by Eskom after Majuba Power Station This base-load power station was formerly known as Project Alpha and has since been named Medupi which means “rain that soaks parched lands, giving economic relief”.
 
Eskom undertook screening and feasibility studies in order to determine the most viable plant location option for Medupi Power Station. Assessment criteria included:
    • availability and accessibility of primary resources, such as coal and water
    • ability of the new power station to connect to the existing Eskom network/grid
    • environmental acceptability
    • cost of production
 
Eskom ranked the Waterberg Coalfields and the Lephalale area in the vicinity of the existing Matimba Power station as the most favourable option for the establishment of a new coal-fired power station due to inter alia:
  •  land availability in close proximity to the primary coal source
  • properties of coal in the area are well known due to the experience acquired through the existing Matimba PowerStation
  • competitive coal prices
  • low environmental impact on the chosen site.

The boiler and turbine contracts for Medupi are the largest contracts that Eskom has ever signed in its history. All main contracts have been awarded and only one is remaining. The project has a total of 32 principal contractors, who utilise a further ±300 subcontractors and sub-subcontractors.

Construction activities commenced in May 2007. The power station will have full installed capacity by 2020. Once completed, the power station will be the fourth largest coal-fired plant and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world.​The Medupi Power Station Project in Lephalale is a green-fields coal-fired power plant comprising of six units rated in total at 4 800MW installed capacity. 
 
Technical information  
 
 
The uniqueness of this project lies therein that Medupi is being constructed in reverse sequence, the opposite of the traditional Eskom practice of starting with Unit 1 and ending with Unit 6. This distinguishing approach is the result of the rock conglomeration on the southern side of the site which was excavated and reused as engineering fill on the northern side.
 
Medupi is also built ready for the installation of abatement technology such as flue gas desulphurisation which will reduce Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) emissions by over 90%. It will also include pulse jet fabric filters, which will remove approximately 99% of particulate matter, and low NOx burners that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. All of this will have an effect of reducing the environmental impact on ambient air quality.    
 
Medupi Power Station leads the fleet to implement lining for its ash dams and coal stockyards. The power station will operate under Zero Liquid Effluent Discharge (ZLED) principles meaning that all treated effluent generated by the power station will be re-used and not released to the environment. The planned operational life of the station is 50 years.
   
Issued by Medupi Communications. June 2020