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ABB has been awarded the contract to supply a comprehensive control system, software, and instrumentation solution for all six of the Kusile power station’s 800-MW generating units. Kusile power station will be the world’s fourth largest coal-fired power station when fully operational in 2020, and will be the first power station in Africa to use wet flue gas desulphurization (FGD) technology, as part of a new generation of high-pressure, high-temperature power installations.

FGD is a state-of-the-art technology used to remove oxides of sulphur, such as sulphur dioxide, from exhaust flue gases in power plants that burn coal or oil. Fitted as an atmospheric emission abatement technology, the FGD plant is a totally integrated chemical plant using limestone as feedstock and producing gypsum as a by-product.

Kusile Power Plant

ABB’s automation system will ensure effective plant operations by improving awareness and response times for better decision-making, resulting in better availability and efficiency, according to the company. ABB is also responsible for the design, manufacture, commissioning and testing of the distributed control system (DCS), the field instrumentation and the advanced condition monitoring system to check the equipment health and to provide failure diagnosis.

To ensure the success of this project, ABB will be using its local engineering resources in South Africa as its global engineering expertise, primarily from Italy and Germany, creating an international project team for Kusile, the company said in a statement. “ABB is a leader in providing automation and software for advanced clean coal power plants, including supercritical installations such as Kusile,” it added.

“Kusile will make a huge impact on South Africa’s development by generating electricity supply to 5 million people, improve power system reliability and excess power exported and sold to neighbouring countries. Kusile will also improve the quality of life of local communities’ corporate social investment initiatives.”

Eskom has indicated that the first synchronisation of Kusile Unit 1 is scheduled for the first half of this year, with the 800 MW unit expected to enter commercial operations in the second half of 2017.

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