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Medupi Power Station

Period of services: 2007 – 2019

Project value: R200 billion

Location: Lephalale, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Key aspects: Dry-cooled coal-fired power station; 6 Units of 794MW each; total installed capacity 4 764MW

Client/s: PB Power; Nyeleti Consulting/ Eskom Engineering

Project description:

Eskom is developing, the Medupi (Sepedi word for “rain that soaks parched lands”) Power Station near the town of Lephalale in Limpopo province, South Africa. Medupi Power Station is a dry-cooled coal-fired power station, which when completed will comprise 6 units of 794 MW each with a total installed capacity of 4 764MW, making it the largest dry-cooled coal-fired power station in the world. As of March 2019, four of Medupi’s 6 units were operational. Unit 2 was being commissioned with full operation expected towards end 2019 while the last remaining unit, Unit 1, is set for completion towards middle 2020. Coal for the duration of Medupi’s planned 40 year life of operation is supplied by Exxaro’s Grootegeluk coal mine, located to the north of the site.

Image of Medupi Power Station, facing south-west showing air cooled condensers in foreground and boilers and chimneys in background.

Image of Medupi Power Station facing north and showing the auxiliary boiler in foreground and station services building in the background.

Scope of services:

• Green and brownfield geotechnical investigations including:

o Unit 1 – 3 supplementary geotechnical investigations;

o Weather mast;

o Helipad;

o Raw water reservoir pump station and sub-station;

o Excess coal stockyard;

o Rail siding and off-loading facilities;

o Gate 4 access control and weigh bridge;

o Borrow material investigations.

• Supervision and monitoring of bulk excavation works including the review and approval of all drill and blast designs.

• Slope stability assessments of permanent and temporary excavations.

• Foundation design verification of major power station elements through geotechnical mapping, data processing and rock mass classification.

• Preparation of geotechnical mapping and backfill specifications to major power station elements, in collaboration with ARQ Consulting Engineers.

• Compliance monitoring of earthworks including monitoring and review of in situ and laboratory tests.

• Preparation and maintenance of a construction material balance.

Drilling for new blast in progress

a blast charged-up and ready to go

Top left: drilling for new blast in progress; top right: a blast charged-up and ready to go; bottom left: mucking-out of completed blast and bottom right: completed foundation excavation for chimney south.

Left: dental cleaning of foundation footprint in preparation of geotechnical mapping and casting of blinding concrete; Right: geotechnical mapping of dental cleaned foundation.

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