Coal-Fired Plants in South Africa
Athlone
Location: Western Cape
Operator: Cape Town Electricity Dept
Configuration: 6 X 30 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1961-1967 (ret)
Boiler supplier: JBE
T/G supplier: Oerlikon, Hitachi
Quick facts: The plant was inactive from about 1985 to 1995. In 2002 and again in 2004, there were plans to privatize this power station and/or repower the steam sets with gas turbines. As with the Orlando site in Johannesburg, there are plans to reuse some of the Athlone site for a cultural and commercial center.

Photograph by DanieVDM (flickr)
Posted 18 Apr 2007

Arnot
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 350 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1971-1975
Boiler supplier: ICL
T/G supplier: BBC, Alsthom
Quick facts: The Arnot site on farmlands in Rietkuil was acquired by Eskom from seven owners. Site work began in 1965 and full-scale construction got underway in 1968. Arnot was Eskom's first modern coal-fired power station and was fully operational by Jun 1975. Three of its units mothballed in 1992 and recommissioned in 1997/98. Two 400kV transmission lines, owned by MOTRACO, run from Arnot and Camden power stations to a substation near Maputo in Mozambique to supply the MOZAL Aluminium smelter.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom
Posted 11 Apr 2007

Camden
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 8 X 200 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1967-1969
Boiler supplier: ICL
T/G supplier: Parsons
Quick facts: This power station is near Ermelo and was the starting point for the build-out of South Africa’s 400kV grid. The first unit was commissioned in Apr 1967 and the plant as completed at a cost of R126mn. In 1988, half the station was mothballed with the rest of the station following suit in 1990. In 2003, sharp demand increases led to a decision to reactivate Camden, Grootvlei and Komati. Camden-6 was the first back, being synchronized on 31 Mar 2005 and returned to commercial service on 16 Jul 2005. The turbine hall is 383m long, the stacks are 154m high, and the cooling towers are 112m tall.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom
Posted 16 Aug 2008

Duvha
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 600 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1980-1984
Boiler supplier: Steinmuller
T/G supplier: GEC
EPC: LTA Construction, Grinaker Construction, Dorbyl Ltd
Quick facts: Duvha PS is 15km east of Witbank on the former Speekfontein farm. Construction started in Nov 1975 and Unit-1 commissioned on 18 Aug 1980. The plant cost R1.6bn. The 300m stacks are the tallest structures i Africa. The associated mine is the largest open-cast colliery in the Southern Hemisphere with around 10mn tpy of output. Duvha puts out about 22 TWh/yr. It is essentially a twin plant of Tutuka.

Photograph bu PavlpvBose (Panoramio)
Posted 29 Dec 2013

Grootvlei
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 200 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1969-1977
Boiler supplier: BPL, Steinmuller
T/G supplier: MAN, BBC
Quick facts: Three of Grootvlei's units were mothballed in 1989 and the rest in 1990. In 2003, Eskom dedicated to reactivate the station and this is now underway. Units 1&2 retruned to service in 2008. Units 5&6 were the first test facilities for dry cooling in South Africa and Unit-6 has an indirect dry cooling system.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom
Posted 16 Aug 2008

Hendrina
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 10 X 200 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1970-1977
Boiler supplier: BPL, Steinmuller
T/G supplier: Siemens
Quick facts: Hendrina is one of Eskom’s oldest continuously-running power stations. The site is 40km south of Middelburg and the units went online from Jun 1970 and Dec 1976. At completion, Hendrina had the longest turbine hall of any Eskom power station. Between 1995 and 1997, half of Hendrina’s units were refurbished with the first 5-in-1 control room in the southern hemisphere. The remaining units were refurbished between 2000 and 2003.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom
Re-posted 20 Sep 2015

Hex River
Location: Western Cape
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 3 X 20 MW, 2 X 30 MW
Fuel: coal
Operation: 1953-1963 (ret 1988)
Boiler supplier: B&W
T/G supplier: BTH, EE
EPC: Lewis Construction
Quick facts: The 21ac plant site was on the outskirts of Worcester and close to the Hex River. Contracts for all major items of plant and equipment were placed in 1948 and construction started in Mar 1949. The first unit was commissioned on 30 May 1952. The cost of the first phase was £3.827mn. These were the first spreader stokers in South Africa. All coal supplies came by rail from the coal-fields in the Witbank area. In 1971, the Hex River plant completed 1mn manhours without a lost-time injury.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom
Posted 4 Apr 2007

Jeppe Street
Location: Johannesburg
Operator: Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Co
Configuration: 4 X 10 MW, 2 X17 MW, 2 X 20 MW
Fuel: coal
Operation: 1927-1939 (ret)
Boiler supplier: ??
T/G supplier: ??
Quick facts: VFP built the Jeppe Street PS in Johannesburg as the last and largest of three plants in the Netown area. The first 10-MW T/G set started up in Sep 1927. Jeppe went to essentially standy-by operation after the Orlando PS was finished in 1945. The steam-electric plant was finally closed in Oct 1961, however ttwo 22-MW English Electric gas turbines were ommissioned at the site in 1967, the first in Africa. These stayed online through the 1970s, but thereafter the buildings were abandoned and fell into disrepair. Some of the structures were selected for adaptive reuse and the Turbine Hall facility opened in 2007.

Photograph courtesy of www.newtown.co.za
Posted 18 Jul 2015

Kelvin
Location: Johannesburg
Operator: Aldwych International
Configuration: 6 X 30 MW, 7 X 60 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1957-1969
Boiler supplier: B&W, Mitchell
T/G supplier: Fraser & Chalmers, Escher Wyss, GEC, Oerlikon
Quick facts: In Dec 2001, a consortium of AES Corp (95%) and Global Africa Power (5%) took a 50% stake in Kelvin and obtained a 20yr PPA with CityPower. In Dec 2002, AES agreed to sell its stake to CDC Globeleq. In Apr 2006, Globeleq handed control of the power station to Nedbank and Investec and withdrew from the project after finding itself unable to return the plant to full capacity despite a $25mn investment program. In Aug 2007, Aldwych International announced that a wholly-owned subsidiary had completed the acquisition of a minority stake in Kelvin Power in a joint venture with Netherlands Development Finance Co, J&J Infrastructure Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Global African Power (Pty) Ltd, and infrastructure funds managed by the Macquarie group, Old Mutual Investment Group (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd and Kagiso Trust Investments (Pty) Ltd. Investec and Nedbank will remain senior lenders to the business after this new transaction.

Photograph courtesy of CDC Globeleq
Posted 10 Sep 2003

Kendal
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 686 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1988-1993
Boiler supplier: CE
T/G supplier: Siemens
EPC: Babcock International, Murray & Roberts
Quick facts: Construction at Kendall began in Jul 1982 and took over 10yrs to complete. The six, 165m tall indirect dry cooling towers were the largest in the world at completion. Average production is about 25 TWh/yr. The turbine hall is 530m long and 33m tall. The site is 40km southwest of Witbank.

Photograph courtesy of Murray & Roberts
Posted 28 Dec 2013

Kriel
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 500 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1976-1979
Boiler supplier: Steinmuller
T/G supplier: Alsthom, BBC
Quick facts: At completion, this was the largest coal-fired power station in the Southern Hemisphere. It was also one of the first stations to be supplied with coal from a fully mechanized mine. The plant configuration differs from other Eskom station in that each T/G set is separate, as opposed to being placed on a single axis in a single turbine hall.

Photograph by Stefan Schloehmer
Posted 6 Dec 2003

Komati
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 5 X 100 MW, 4 X 125 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1962-1966 (dac)
Boiler supplier: BPL, Steinmuller
T/G supplier: Siemens, GEC
EPC: Siemens
Quick facts: Site investigations at Komati began in 1957. In 1988, three units were mothballed and in 1990, the station was completely deactivated and its coal contract terminated. Komati was Eskom's last power station with a common steam header.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom
Posted 11 Apr 2007

Kusile
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 795 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 2017-2019
Boiler supplier: Hitachi Power Europe
T/G supplier: Alstom
EPC: Eskom, Blac & Veatch, WBHO Construction Pty Ltd, Alstom
Quick facts: In Feb 2008, Alstom received a €1.3bn contract for six turbine islands for the Kusile PS (formerly Project Bravo). The new plant has a 395ha site close to Kendal power station near the town of Witbank. In Aug 2008, work got underway on the PS, which is essentially a twin to Medupi with the substitution of SPX for GEA as supplier of the dry cooling systems. Originally, the first unit was due in 2013 with additional units every 8mos to completion in 2016, but the project has been delayed by at least 4yrs. Anglo Inyosi, a black economic empowerment subsidiary of Anglo Coal South Africa, was selected to supply about 17mn tpy for the life of the power station. This will be transported by conveyor belt from the nearby New Largo reserve as well as from the Zondagsfontein reserve. Kusile will be the first power station in South Africa to have FGD systems installed as part of initial construction.

Photograph courtesy of PDC
Posted 26 Oct 2013

Lethabo
Location: Free State
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 618 MWMW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1985-1990
Boiler supplier: BPL
T/G supplier: MAN, Alsthom
Quick facts: Lethabo is located between Vereeniging and Sasolburg. Construction started in 1980 and by Dec 1990, the station was fully operational. The station built on 11,000 concrete piles which were sunk 25m deep. This was required to alleviate a heaving clay problem after some 190, 000 bluegum trees were removed during site clearing. At the time, it was the largest piling contract ever awarded to a South African contractor. Fuel is about 15mn tpy of low-grade coal supplied from the New Vaal Colliery.

Photograph courtesy of carbon-power
Posted 29 Dec 2013

Majuba
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 3 X 657 MW, 3 X 713 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1996-2001
Boiler supplier: Steinmuller
T/G supplier: GEC
EPC: Murray & Roberts
Quick facts: This PS is between Volksrust and Amersfoor. Majuba was the last of the first itierations of Eskom's 6-pack power stations. Construction started in Sep 1983 and the first unit went on-load on 1 Apr 1996, construction having been delayted by in-country economic conditions. The last unit was handed over on 1 Apr 2001. This is Eskom's only PS not linked to a specific mine and receives its coal from various sources. The first three units are dry-cooled and the second three have wet NDT.

Photograph courtesy of carbon-power
Posted 28 Dec 2013

Matimba
Location: Limpopo
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 665 MWMW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1985-1990
Boiler supplier: Steinmuller
T/G supplier: MAN, Alsthom
Quick facts: Construction at Matimba near Ellisras started in 1981. It was completed as the largest direct dry cooling power station in the world. Coal is supplied from the adjacent Grootegeluk Colliery. Annual power send-out is aboout 24 TWh.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom
Posted 29 Dec 2013

Matla
Location: Mpumalanga
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 600 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1979-1983
Boiler supplier: BPL
T/G supplier: MAN, Alsthom
Quick facts: Malta was the launch example of Eskom's extra-large coal-fired power stations. Construction started late in 1974 and the station was fully operational in July 1983. Matla has an unusual concrete boiler house superstructure as there was a shortage of steel during construction. Annual production is about 25 TWh.

Photograph courtesy of carbon-power
Posted 13 Apr 2013

Medupi
Location: Limpopo
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 795 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 2014-2017
Boiler supplier: Hitachi Power Europe
T/G supplier: Alstom
EPC: Parsons Brinckerhoff, Murray & Roberts, Grinaker-LTA Civil Engineering, Concor, Kentz, Alstom
Quick facts: In Nov 2007, Alstom was awarded a turnkey €1.4bn EPC contract for six 800-MW turbine islands for Eskom’s Medupi power station near Lephalale in Limpopo province (formerly Project Alpha). At the same time, HPE received a R20bn contract for six supercritical boilers. These contracts were the largest to date for Eskom. Medupi issupplied by coal from a R9bn expansion of Exxaro’s Grootegeluk coal mine, located north of the site. Eskom placed a contract to supply an average of 14.6mn tpy of coal to Medupi for 40yrs. Ground-breaking was in Aug 2007 and the first unit (Unit-6) was expected to commission in early 2012, with the next units following at 9mo intervals. Unit-6 was synchronized on 2 Mar 2015, a 3yr delay attributed to a variety of factors including boiter metallurgy and local labor issues. After resolving some technical problems, U-6 went commercial on 22 Auug 2015. In Nov 2009, the African Development Bank loaned Eskom €1.86bn to finance construction. The 883ha site was formerly the Naauw Ontkomen Farm and was bought from Kumba Coal. Total project cost is estimated at R105bn. The photo dates to Apr 2013.

Photograph by Arnold Pronto and courtesy of BDLive
Posted 26 Oct 2013

Orlando
Location: Johannesburg
Operator: City Power JHB (Pty) Ltd
Configuration: 5 X 30 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1954-1955 (ret)
Boiler supplier: B&W
T/G supplier: Fraser & Chalmers, GEC
Quick facts: In 2002, it was proposed to turn the power station into a museum celebrating the social and political history of Soweto where the plant is located, but this plan did not advance. Later, a consortium of Old Mutual Properties, Standard Bank, Linsela Holdings and a group of Soweto-based businesses planned to redevelop the building into a retail center at a cost of more than R500,000. The existing building will be converted into a mixed-use development comprising of retail shops, office space, and loft apartments.

Photograph courtesy of City of Johannesburg
Posted 17 Feb 2007

Pretoria West
Location: Gauteng
Operator: Tshwane Electricity Division
Configuration: 6 X 30 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1952 (ret)
Boiler supplier: Yarrow
T/G supplier: EE
Quick facts: The Pretoria West and Rooiwal power stations used to provide about 25% of the electricity requuirement in New Tshwane Area.

Photograph courtesy of roobo69.wordpress.com
Posted 20 Jul 2013

Rooiwal
Location: Gauteng
Operator: Tshwane Electricity Division
Configuration: 5 X 60 MW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1962-1970
Boiler supplier: ICL
T/G supplier: EE
Quick facts: Rooiwal TPP was retrofit with baghouses by Bateman Howden.

Photograph by Geoff Cooke
Posted 21 Jul 2013

Tutuka
Location: Free State
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 6 X 609 MWMW
Fuel: bituminous coal
Operation: 1985-1990
Boiler supplier: Steinmuller
T/G supplier: MAN, Alsthom
Quick facts: Tutuka is 25km from Standerton. The first unit was commissioned on 1 Jun 1985 and the last unit on 4 Jun 1990. Tutuka is an important link in the 765kV extra-high-voltage transmission system linking Mpumalanga with the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It is essentially a twin plant of Duvha.

Photograph courtesy of carbon-power
Posted 29 Dec 2013

Vierfontein
Location: Orange Free State
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 12 X 30 MW
Fuel: coal
Operation: 1953-1958 (ret 1990)
Boiler supplier: ICL
T/G supplier: EE
Quick facts: This plant was originally developed by Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Co to meet power demand from the goldfields of the Free State and in the Klerksdorp area. VFP was taken over by Escom in Jul 1948. Initial orders were placed in 1950 for seven 30 MW generators and 12 twelve boilers and the first generator went commercial on 4 May 1953. The plant cost £21.3mn. The 19 ICL tri-drum unit had the world's then largest traveling grate "L"-type louvre mechanical stokers in the world when completed. These were manufactured in South Africa.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom
Posted 4 Apr 2007

West Bank-2
Location: Eastern Cape
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 3 X 15 MW, 2 X 20 MW
Fuel: coal
Operation: 1956-1968 (ret 1989)
Boiler supplier: Adamson, Yarrow
T/G supplier: MV, Oerlikon, Hitachi
Quick facts: West Bank-2 was the last of seven new power stations commissioned as part of a post World War II expansion program. The West Bank-1 plant was taken over by Escom from East London Municipality in 1947 and the first equipment for the second plant was ordered in 1950. Civil works were delayed by periodic flooding on the Buffalo River and lack of labor and material, but electricity shortages necessitated first firing of the lead boiler on 26 Jun 1955 to supply additional steam to sets at West Bank-1. Unit-1 started-up on 26 April 1956 and thereafter, a 66kV interconnector was built between East London and King William's Town. The three 20-MW sets and second 80.5m stack followed starting in Aug 1967. The new plant used coal from the Witbank area in the Eastern Transvaal. The highest net generation of the plant complex was 516 GWh in 1973, the year before the so-called Border Undertaking was linked to the 400kV grid. West Bank's shutdown began in 1970 when four boilers at West Bank-1 were mothballed and the station was retired in 1978 and demolished the following year. On 10 Feb 1989, West Bank-2 was closed after 33½ years of service. On 31 Oct 1992, the stacks were demolished and the site released for development.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom
Posted 19 Jul 2008

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 20-Sep-2015

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