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Date: 01 Jun 2012
Title: Eskom build programme on track
Pretoria - Government says it is confident that state power utility Eskom's expansion programme will be completed within its set time frame with the latest data showing construction of both Medupi and Kusile power stations progressing well.
According to the Mid-Term Review Report, released by the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane in Pretoria on Friday, Medupi coal-fired power station is 32% complete against a planned schedule of 38.5%.
The new Kusile station, which Eskom wants to start operating by 2017, is 15% complete, against a planned schedule of 18.5%, while the Ingula pumped storage power station is 39% complete, against a planned schedule of 42%.
Eskom introduced the programme in 2004 to guarantee an efficient, reliable electricity supply.
Medupi, whose first unit was planned to generate power to the grid in December 2012, is expected to be delayed to the second half of 2013 due to contractor delays in the fabrication of boilers.
"However, the remainder of Eskom's build programme is generally on track, and the Kusile and Ingula projects will be delivered on schedule," reads the review.
The report says given that there will still be a deficit of electricity supply until Medupi and Kusile are fully commissioned, greater emphasis will have to be placed on the regular monitoring and reporting of Eskom's generation build programmes. These include promoting co-generation options, accelerating renewable energy integration, purchasing non-Eskom power, and accelerating the rollout of demand-side savings.
Some progress has also been made in the shifting of power station coal from road to rail in order to address the deterioration of roads in Mpumalanga. This project is currently focused on designing and implementing rail off-loading capabilities at Camden, Tutuka, Majuba, Grootvlei, Kendal and Hendrina power stations, which are linked or close to railway lines. To date, Eskom has completed the construction of the Camden coal terminal and 65% of the Tutuka coal terminal.
Since adopting the programme, Eskom has added 5 032MW of power-generating capacity to the country's grid. Transmission lines totalling 3 400km have also been added, according to the utility. It has revived mothballed plants like the 1 520MW Camden power station in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, while plants in Grootvlei and Komati, also in Mpumalanga, have been partially re-commissioned.
To this end, the report notes that approximately 248 000 households were supplied with electricity for the first time during the period November 2010 to November 2011, and 3 655 homes were connected to off-grid solar systems
South Africa's longer-term electricity supply needs would be directed by the integrated resource plan (IRP) for electricity now being finalised and due to be tabled to Cabinet. The plan would determine the energy mix and associated funding requirements for the next 20 years.
With regard to productivity improvements at the Durban container terminal (DCT), the Presidency says an average of 25 crane moves per hour was achieved in 2010/11, from 21 crane moves per hour in 2009/10, in line with the target of 25 crane moves per hour for that year.
To improve productivity to world-class standards, the report also highlights successful implementation of state logistic company Transnet's build projects including two container berths at the Ngqura port in the Eastern Cape. Some 875 000 containers have been handled at Ngqura since it opened in October 2009, and the additional two berths will improve capacity to 800 000 containers per annum.
"Transnet has commenced with the next phase to expand the Ngqura container capacity to 1.5 million containers through the acquisition of container handling equipment," the report reads. - BuaNews