South Africa set to improve power plant efficiency

Power and automation technology group ABB has won an order worth $54mn from South African utility Eskom to provide electrical and automation solutions. The project is intended to improve reliability and energy efficiency at three of its largest power plants.
As the turnkey contractor, ABB is responsible for the design, installation and commissioning of the electrical and automation equipment. ABB will also conduct a performance analysis and refurbishment of motors in the plants to boost efficiency and extend the service life of the thermal power stations, which are located in the north-east of the country. Each plant has six generating units and a capacity of about 4,000 megawatts.
“Energy-efficient generation can make a significant contribution to our collective effort to reduce fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “Our innovative technologies, extensive global experience, and knowledge of power generation processes, enable our customers to enhance the reliability and efficiency of their power plants.”
ABB will supply key equipment like dry-type transformers and energy-efficient variable-speed drives, as well as several other products for the plants. The drives will optimize the performance of boiler-feed water pumps that typically consume around 2.5 per cent of the energy generated by a coal-fired power plant.
Eskom is responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of almost 95 per cent of South Africa’s electricity. South Africa alone accounts for about three-fifths of all the power consumed on the African continent.

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