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Medupi Unit 6 achieves full commercialization

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Historic milestone reached in South Africa

On Sunday, 30 August 2015, President Jacob Zuma officially unveiled the first of the six generating units of the Medupi Power Station in Lephalale, Limpopo, South Africa.

The Eskom owned power station officially brought Unit 6 on-line commercially, adding 794 megawatts (MW) to South Africas electricity grid.


On the left, Minister Lynne Brown (Department of Public Enterprises), with Mr Brian Molefe, (Acting CE, Eskom) and on the right: H.E. President Jacob Zuma.

Picture copyright GCIS (Government Communication and Information Service)

Commercial Operation refers to the moment in the project when the unit was handed over from the project team to Eskoms generation division for operation as part of the national grid.

President Jacob Zuma welcomed the commercialization of Unit 6 at the Medupi power station as an historic milestone that will help to relieve pressure on South Africas power system. The unit, with a generation capacity of 794 MW, is the first of six units at Medupi.

The unit was first successfully synchronized to the grid on 2 March 2015 and reached full load 794 MW on 26 May.

Medupi view West.jpg

View of Medupi from the West

Alstoms scope at Medupi consists of the supply, installation and commissioning of the Turbine Islands, air-cooled condensers and the ALSPA Series 6 plant control system.

This milestone is the result of years of dedicated team work and many commissioning activities. We are all extremely proud of this major achievement, said Lee Dawes, Managing Director, Alstom South & East Africa (Pty) Ltd.


Outside view Medupi turbine hall 

Bringing Unit 6 to commercial operation is the result of years of hard work in close collaboration with our customer Eskom. Once Medupi is completed, it will add a much needed 4764 MW to South Africas national grid.

Medupi inside Turbine hall.jpg

Inside view Medupi turbine hall

Medupi Fact Sheet

The Medupi 6 x 794 MW supercritical coal-fired power plant is the first base load power plant to be built in South Africa in 20 years and once completed will be the biggest dry-cooled power station in the world. Like its sister plant under construction in Kusile, it will have a generating gross capacity of nearly 4800 MW, and the two together will represent approximately 25% of South Africas generating capacity. The plant is located 15km west of Lephalale, in the Limpopo province.

Scope of supply:

Turnkey Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contract (2007) for six turbine islands, including:

  • engineering
  • procurement and logistics
  • construction and associated erection services and commissioning
  • six STF100 steam turbines
  • six GIGATOP generators, hydrogen-cooled
  • the associated air-cooled condenser for each unit
  • the related turbine island auxiliary equipment
  • six feed heating plants
  • the Control & Instrumentation System for each unit