The promises of new coal-fired power generation capacity in South Africa (post-Medupi and Kusile), and in particular, the promise of clean coal technologies, has long been in the country’s planning pipeline but has perhaps been short of a reality check as to the actual potential for delivery.
In terms of South Africa’s previous Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, IRP 2010 – 2030, a further 6,250MW of coal-fired power was planned for construction by 2030, in addition to Eskom’s 4,800MW Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power stations that were still under construction at the time.
In 2014, as part of this plan, the IPP Office of the then Department of Energy commenced a procurement process for 2,500MW of coal-fired electricity from independent power producers (IPPs), in the first rounds of the so-called Coal Baseload IPP Procurement Programme.
Two preferred consortiums were finally announced in 2016 as the outcome of the first bid window – one being the Thabametsi project in the coal-rich Waterberg area of Limpopo province, and the other the Khanyisa project near eMalahleni in Mpumalanga province.
The Thabametsi coal-fired power station was to be sited outside the town of Lephalale, and would have been largely owned by Marubeni of Japan and South Korean power utility, Kepco. The first phase of the project would have a capacity of 557MW, with the ultimate intended capacity being 1,200MW.
The 306MW Khanyisa coal-fired power station would have used discard coal from the Kleinkopje thermal coal colliery previously owned by Anglo American, and would have largely been owned by Saudi Arabian power company, ACWA.
Both the Thabametsi and Khanyisa power plants were to be designed around circulating fluidised bed (CFB) boiler technology operating at sub-critical pressure and temperature, giving efficiencies of about 32%.
Click on the link below for full report