Kusile power station expected to stabilise SA’s power demands
The Mpumalanga government and Eskom are confident construction deadlines of the Kusile power station near Kendal will be met and that commercial production will begin next year.
Costing R169 billion, Kusile power station, once fully completed in 2018, will be the fourth biggest coal-fired power station in the world.
Eskom commercial director Dan Marokane and Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza on Thursday this week, 10 October, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) geared towards creating employment and promoting sustainable development in the province.
“Kusile will stabilise energy supply and demand in South Africa and we expect it to increase the Nkangala District’s GDP by 25% per year,” said Marokane during the signing ceremony in Mbombela.
Marokane said working with the national and provincial government was a boost for Eskom.
“The MoU we have signed here today is for ground-breaking cooperation between Eskom and government, which signifies the value of this great province,” Marokane said.
Mabuza also applauded the signing of the MoU.
“Through this collaboration between government and Eskom, we have decided to streamline the huge operations that are currently taking place in the province.
“Through the MoU, we will safeguard the success of projects such as Kusile and ensure rapid economic development. Kusile will meet all the targeted dates that have been set and be able to address the power shortages that South Africa is currently experiencing,” said Mabuza.
Mpumalanga is the fourth largest contributor to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is considered to be the heart of Eskom’s supply chain, accommodating 11 power stations, which provide 70% of the country’s generating capacity.
The completion of the Kusile project will be the last stage of Eskom’s biggest ever capacity extension programme, the total cost of which is estimated to be R340 billion.
To date, 54 contracts have been awarded for construction, while the project is expected to create 16 000 jobs during construction and 600 full time jobs once operations begin.
The project has also seen a 26-km road being built connecting the N4 and the N12.
Mabuza said that the provincial government will intervene to prevent imminent power outages in Mpumalanga municipalities.
Eskom has given an ultimatum to the Thaba Chweu local municipality to pay a R160 million debt or face a complete power-cut from October 16.
Mabuza promised that the deadline would be met.
“The billing system and revenue collection in Thaba Chweu is incorrect and a team of nine MECs is stepping in to assist. We assure Eskom that we will pay before the deadline. The situation is under control. There is no need to worry,” said Mabuza.
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