GE (NYSE: GE) (www.GE.com) today announced that it has successfully commenced commercial operations of Unit One of Kusile’s coal power plant. GE’s scope in Kusile Unit One is the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of six turbine islands, air cooled condensers and wet flue gas desulphurization plant (WFGD). The WFGD plant is an environmental control solution and the first to be built on a power plant in Africa.
GE Steam Power System’s efficient technologies help make Kusile one of the cleanest coal fired power plants in the continent. Ultra-supercritical power generation technology keeps raising the efficiency bar of coal power plants. It has achieved 47.5% efficiency in the world’s most efficient coal power plant in Germany, well above the global average of 33%. Each percentage point improvement in efficiency is significant as each point reduces CO2 emissions from coal power plants by 2%.
“We are extremely proud of our expert global and local EPC teams who have worked professionally to ensure that we were able to support the commercial operation of Unit one” said Nthabiseng Kubheka, GE’s Executive – Project Director for Kusile’s 6 x 800MW Turbine Islands & WFGD Projects. “This great achievement definitely resonates with our goal to power everyone using clean technology,” she said.
In addition to USC power generation technology, Kusile is the first power plant in the continent to deploy state of the art wet flue gas desulfurization technology. This air quality control system ensures the highest removal of sulphur and dust from the air, ensuring that Kusile coal power plant will comply with the most stringent international standards and protect the communities around it.
“Kusile is the first power plant in Africa to implement clean fuel technology such as flue-gas desulphurisation – a state-of-the-art technology used to remove oxides of sulphur, such as sulphur dioxide, from exhaust flue gases in power plants that burn coal or oil. This technology is fitted as an atmospheric emission abatement technology, in line with current international practice, to ensure compliance with air-quality standards, especially since the power station is located in a priority air shed area,” said Eskom’s Interim Chief Executive Johnny Dladla.
Unit One of Kusile will deliver an additional 800MW to the grid and this new unit will help to stabilize the South African grid. Once in full operation, Kusile power plant will consist of 6 units delivering 800MW each for a total of 4,800 MW. This is enough power to meet the electricity needs of 3.5 million households in South Africa.