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Eskom: Grootvlei Power Station’s Unit 3 on planned maintenance

Photo by Duane Daws

10th February 2016


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No load shedding is anticipated today as Eskom intends to meet the country’s electricity demands while performing the requisite maintenance on its power generating plants.

As part of our ongoing feature aimed at showcasing Eskom’s world of power generation, today the spotlight falls on our return to service power station – Grootvlei.

Grootvlei’s Unit 3 is currently on planned maintenance and the scope includes a major project of retrofitting the electrostatic precipitator with the fabric filter plant technology for effective emission control in line with environmental regulations compliance.

The design of Grootvlei consists of six coal fired units with a combined output of 1 130MW.

Grootvlei Power Station was built in the late 1960’s near Balfour in the Mpumalanga Province. The first unit was commissioned in 1969 with the commissioning of the entire power station following in 1977.

This was the first power station of this size to have dry cooling and both direct (Unit 5) and indirect cooling (Unit 6). Unit 5 and 6 were the first test facilities for dry cooling in South Africa and they use demineralised water as a cooling medium to prolong life of the water conveying components (piping) and in addition water losses are limited with this type of the cooling system design. 

The station was mothballed in 1990mainly because of surplus capacity at the time. The Group Capital Division refurbished Grootvlei Power Station from 2006 until 2011 to its original design to supply 1 130MW to the Eskom grid.

Grootvlei was part of Eskom’s Return to Service project, which included the Camden and Komati Power Stations.

Although the station is old, it has been upgraded and brought in line with modern Power Stations with the latest cost-effective technology being incorporated. The station has a newly designed 8-in-1 control room for six units. The station has also been fitted with new design static excitation system with other areas having been refurbished with minor enhancements.

We will continue to provide regular updates on the state of the power system through various media platforms.



Issued by Eskom

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