Eskom will need at least R33 billion to complete the commissioning and remedial work at the Medupi and Kusile power stations, as disclosed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Thursday, the President responded to questions from the National Assembly.
Each of the two power stations is capable of contributing at least 4,800MW to the grid.
“All six Medupi [generation] units have reached the stage of commercial operation and the current focus is on completing the balance of the plant and remedial works. Four out of six Kusile [generation] units are in commercial operation and the current focus is on completing the commissioning of the remaining two units.
“Eskom’s intention is to complete the remaining scope of work at Medupi and Kusile within the current project budgets approved by the current Eskom board,” he said.
Both power stations’ construction has been delayed due to design defects, which the president says are now being resolved.
“Eskom is making steady progress in developing and implementing effective technical solutions to the major technical defects at both power stations. As a result, the availability and reliability of the commissioned units at Medupi and Kusile is improving on an ongoing basis.
“The effective corrections of the major plant defects at Medupi and Kusile will ensure that the plants achieve their contractual performance with improved reliability as well as availability factors.
“As an example, before the correction of major plant defects, the energy availability factor at Medupi was 64% measures over 12 months. To date, in this financial year, the energy availability factor is now around 85% which is a considerable improvement,” he said.
Although there has been progress, President Ramaphosa said that the defects in the plants are taking a severe toll on the national grid.
“These power stations being built…are really complex processes and at times when they are not well designed they even become more complex. It’s something that we have been suffering from because the design defects have actually contributed to a large extent to the load shedding that we’re currently having,” he said.
President Ramaphosa said there are processes underway to investigate “what resulted in the flawed designs, flawed operational capability of some of these plants” and also looking at potential “overpricing as well as corruption that got underway”.