Duisburg/Johannesburg, 19 November 2011. The second major power plant project of Hitachi Power Europe (HPE) and Hitachi Power Africa (HPA) is also slowly beginning to take shape. Guests from the world of business and politics celebrated the fixing of the first boiler column at the Kusile site in South Africa on Saturday, 19 November. They had been invited by Eskom – the customer – and HPE subsidiary Hitachi Power Africa. The symbolic act marks the beginning of construction work at the six utility steam generators sited some 100 kms east of Johannesburg. Work on the Medupi project is also making considerable progress.
Once completed, these six highly efficient power plant units at Kusile will have an overall output in excess of 4,800 MW (el.). This is the same output as that on hand at the Medupi power plant location for which HPE and HPA are also supplying the utility steam generators. Their construction began some 18 months beforehand. Fixing the first boiler column now marks the starting signal for construction of the utility steam generator at Kusile. In keeping with the convoy strategy, identical plants will arise at intervals of several months to ensure a swift assembly sequence. Johannes Musel, CEO of Hitachi Power Africa, said the power plant project would, of course, benefit from the experience gained by HPE and HPA from the assembly work to date at Medupi. “This provides us with the certainty of being able to meet the milestones on time during the construction and commissioning phases”.
But it is not only the construction work at Kusile – where 2,700 jobs have already been created for building the utility steam generators – which is proceeding apace. The same holds good for the training and qualification program which HPE and HPA have also entered into for the Kusile project. To date, 322 apprentices – with two-thirds coming from Mpumalanga Province – have been trained in a variety of trades; some 700, all told, will be taking part in this program. Added to this are the specific qualification steps for Eskom staff (some 30 engineers and other personnel) for future power plant operations.
Once finished, the new utility steam generators at Medupi and Kusile will be the most up-to-date of their kind in South Africa with efficiencies 15 % up on the average for the power plants in operation today in the country. This will enable the power plant units to be run more economically and with reduced CO2 emissions.
Mr. Helge Schulz
Tel.: +49 (0)203 / 8038 - 2929