Medupi is a 6 x 794 MW power plant under construction that will cover the energy needs of approximately 3.5 million households. Unit 6 achieved commercial operation on 23 August 2015 and Unit 5 was synchronised to the grid ahead of schedule in September 2016 helping to stabilise the South African grid.
GE’s Steam Power Systems, part of GE Power, has been awarded the Global Project Excellence Gold Award by the International Project Management Association (IPMA) for its work on South Africa’s Medupi Power Plant.
“Our team has been working with Eskom on the Medupi Power Plant since 2007. The plant itself is the fourth largest coal-powered plant in the southern hemisphere. It has six units with a capacity of 794 MW each and an installed capacity of 4 764 MW. The GE team that has been working on this project is immensely proud of the IPMA award and recognition,” says Lee Dawes, regional project rxecutive, GE’s Steam Power Systems.
GE’s scope includes six full EPC turbine islands, air-cooled condensers and overall project and construction management. Once completed in 2020, Medupi Power Plant will generate enough power to the grid to meet the electricity needs of 3.5 million households in South Africa.
The IPMA award recognises work that is an example of excellent project management. Global projects that have similar budgets compete against each other and the winner is determined based on the entry submission as well as a site visit. Winners are determined based on the assessors’ evaluation and jury reports, which include a detailed analysis.
“This is a first for GE Power and Steam Power Systems in Africa and it certainly is celebration of the work we’ve done South Africa, executing a significant project that will deliver power to millions of people,” says Lee Dawes.
The award is a culmination of years of learnings and experience that have contributed to the team’s approach executing this mega project. The Steam Power Systems’ team working on Medupi includes 200 direct employees and 2 000 sub-contractors.
“Big scale projects such as Medupi are great stimulators for the local economy, they inject economic activity in remote areas and create sustainable livelihoods,” Dawes says. “Our initial local content target for this project was 50% and we exceeded that, delivering 70%. We trained over 800 trade professionals and spent more than $1.4-billion on local content.”
Medupi is an example of success and a shining example of how Africa’s power generation needs can be solved through public private sector collaboration.