Eskom said it welcomed the return of more than 5000 workers at the Medupi power station–a positive move that the utility company says paves way for the recovery of the past eight weeks of lost production time.
The North Gauteng High Court recently ruled in favour of Eskom for the eviction of all persons residing in all three of Eskom’s accommodation areas around the Medupi power station, as well as interdicting the return of these employees back to the accommodation areas. Numsa, which had appealed the eviction order, was ordered to pay Eskom’s legal costs.
“Eskom has also undertaken to provide alternative accommodation after all proper identification of all the employees has been conducted following the eviction. Eskom will also conduct repairs to the properties that were damaged as a result of violence during the illegal strike action. Access control to all accommodation will be restored.”
Meanwhile, Medupi Unit 6 will be progressively tested and fine-tuned until the engineers are satisfied that the systems are fully operable and reliable for final handover. This is also to ensure that the unit is safe to operate, and will perform exactly as designed for the next 50 years.
During the peak demand periods, testing will stop and power will generated to alleviate pressure on the grid. Earlier this month the unit reached a new output level of 735MW.
Upon completion, the Medupi power station will consist of six units of approximately 794 MW each, with a total output of 4 764MW, which is approximately 12% of Eskom’s total installed capacity. The power station will also become the world’s fourth largest coal-fired power plant, and the largest dry-cooled power station of its kind.