JOHANNESBURG, May 29 –South African Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has revealed that the latest projected cost to complete the Medupi Power Station in Limpopo Province is 105 billion Rand (about 8.72 billion US dollars) compared with the initial estimate of R78 billion in 2007.
Medupi has been plagued by delays ranging from prolonged strikes to technical problems. The first of its six units, each of which is expected to generate about 800 megawatts (MW) of electricity, synchronised to the national grid two months ago.
The coal-fired power plant will generate a total of 5,000 MW of electricity when it is completed by 2021.
Opposition Democratic Alliance Spokesperson Natasha Mazzone said Thursday that as the project was prolonged, the costs would escalate. “There is no correct estimation of costs at present and there is no estimated correct deadline time that can be given. Now the longer the project takes, the more the costs are going to escalate.”
Eskom Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said much of the escalating costs were because of external conditions, like the strike and the reconstruction of boilers.
Brown also revealed that national power utility Eskom would be decommissioning 22 of its older power stations between 2020 and 2056 because these power stations would reach the end of their useful lifespan of 50 to 60 years.
The Koeberg nuclear power plant near Cape Town will be decommissioned in 2045.