Eskom gets electricity from Medupi unit 3, marking commercial status

Eskom has announced that unit 3 of its Medupi power station has reached commercial operation and synchronised to the national grid, in what is expected to ease pressure on the electricity supply.

The power generator said the unit joins three others which have been connected to the national grid since August 23, 2015.

"Unit 3 commercial operation achievement will surely alleviate the pressure on the electricity national grid," Eskom said on Friday.

Construction at the coal-fired Medupi power station, which is located in Limpopo province started in 2007. Once completed, Medupi will consist of six units, with an installed capacity of 4 764MW. 

“Commercial operation of Unit 3 is a major milestone that signifies that Medupi is nearing its completion; therefore it cannot be taken lightly," said Jan Oberholzer, Eskom Chief Operating Officer.

Commercial operation status ensures technical compliance to statutory, safety and legal requirements, marking the contractual handover of the unit from the principal contractors to Eskom.

The company said unit 3 reached full load on May 16,  2018 at 796MW and was first synchronised to the national grid on April 08, 2018.

The construction of Medupi power station has been marred by cost overruns, delays and allegations of technical defects.

In April, Eskom Chairman Jabu Mabuza said halting the project won't benefit the economy, putting its completion cost at  R18bn. Debt-laden Eskom is currently faced with aging power plants, which have contributed to power supply constraints experienced by the country in the recent past.