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South African power utility Eskom has said that the first unit of its Medupi coal-fired power station will be installed by the end of the year
The station, which is expected to reach full capacity by 2015, will have a maximum installed capacity of 4,764MW and will help the country in its battle to meet rising energy demands.
Eskom has embarked on the construction of two similar coal-fired power stations, Medupi and Kusile, with the latter scheduled to be fully operational by 2018.
Both power plants have a projected lifespan of 50 years and together are expected to increase South Africa’s coal consumption by about 1.7GT or approximately 10 per cent of the country’s remaining coal reserves.
The plants will use a variety of new technologies in all stages of the electricity generation process for instance cooling, combustion and pollution abatement. Due to water scarcity concerns and limited water availability at the locations, both will be dry-cooled stations.
According to Eskom, another innovation of the two new power plants is the instalment of a flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) mechanism. The process is responsible for removing oxides of sulphur from the exhaust flue gases in coal power stations.