JOHANNESBURG, Sept 8 Eskom has linked up unit
five of its Medupi coal power station to the grid, the Ministry
of Public Enterprises said on Thursday, as part of the
state-controlled company's drive to overcome South Africa's
chronic electricity shortages.
"Over the past 18 months, we have seen 1,800 MW (megawatts)
being added to the grid and the new build programme will add
8,600 MW of new capacity by 2020/21," Minister Lynne Brown said
in a statement.
Eskom, which has in the past been forced to impose power
cuts due to insufficient supply, is scrambling to revamp its
ageing power plants.
Unit five of the coal-fired Medupi plant will add an
additional 800 MW to the grid. It is expected it will become
commercially operational by March 2018, the ministry said.
Other Eskom projects include the Ingula hydro-powered plant
and the Kusile coal-fired plant in the northeast of
KwaZulu-Natal and eastern Mpumalanga provinces respectively,
with a combined capacity of about 6,132 MW.
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Mark Potter)