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GE has announced that it has successfully commenced commercial operations of Unit One of Kusile’s coal power plant. GE’s scope in Kusile Unit One is the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of six turbine islands, air cooled condensers and wet flue gas desulphurization plant (WFGD). The WFGD plant is an environmental control solution and the first to be built on a power plant in Africa.

GE commences commerical operations at Kusile

“We are extremely proud of our expert global and local EPC teams who have worked professionally to ensure that we were able to support the commercial operation of Unit one,” says Nthabiseng Kubheka, GE’s Executive - Project Director for Kusile’s 6 x 800MW Turbine Islands and WFGD Projects. “This great achievement definitely resonates with our goal to power everyone using clean technology.”

Kusile is one of the cleanest coal fired power plants on the continent, using ultra-supercritical (USC) power generation technology. This has achieved 47.5% efficiency in the world’s most efficient coal power plant in Germany, well above the global average of 33%. Each percentage point improvement in efficiency is significant as each point reduces CO2 emissions from coal power plants by 2%.

In addition to USC power generation technology, Kusile is the first power plant on the continent to deploy state-of-the-art wet flue gas desulfurization technology. This air quality control system ensures the highest removal of sulphur and dust from the air, ensuring that Kusile coal power plant will comply with the most stringent international standards and protect the communities around it.

“This state-of-the-art technology is used to remove oxides of sulphur, such as sulphur dioxide, from exhaust flue gases in power plants that burn coal or oil. It is fitted as an atmospheric emission abatement technology, in line with current international practice, to ensure compliance with air-quality standards, especially since the power station is located in a priority air shed area,” explains Eskom’s Interim Chief Executive Johnny Dladla.

Unit One of Kusile will deliver an additional 800MW to the grid. Once in full operation, Kusile power plant will consist of six units delivering 800MW each for a total of 4 800 MW. This is enough power to meet the electricity needs of 3.5 million households in South Africa.

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