Energy & Environment

Eskom’s Kusile wet flue gas desulphurization plant achieves 93% removal efficiency rate

GE’s Steam Power business   today announced that it has successfully completed tests for performance of Unit 1, of the Wet Flue Gas Desulphurization Plant (WFGD) at Eskom’s Kusile newly built plant, the first air quality control system of its kind in Africa. The WFGD Plant will be the cleanest coal-fired power plant in Eskom’s fleet. During its performance tests, Kusile’s WFGD plant has exceeded original performance commitments as it achieved 93% removal efficiency rate, to deliver more value to Eskom and the local communities.

Eskom’s Acting Chief Executive Phakamani Hadebe said “Kusile is the first power plant in Africa to implement clean fuel technology such as flue-gas desulphurization – a state-of-the-art technology used to remove oxides of Sulphur, such as Sulphur dioxide, from exhaust flue gases in power plants that burn coal or oil. This technology is fitted as an atmospheric emission abatement technology, in line with current international practice, to ensure compliance with air-quality standards, especially since the power station is in a priority air shed area.

Th WFGD system at Kusile is the most advanced environmental control technology to significantly reduce SO2 emissions. GE’s  WFGD system guarantees cleaner air for the environment and the inhabitants of the Mpumalanga area.

“The energy demands of South Africa are growing and coal remains a vital part of the energy mix. By bringing cleaner, affordable, reliable and efficient technology solutions to the Kusile Power plant, we have proven that coal can continue to play an essential role in meeting the country’s growing energy needs. This WFGD system ensures the highest removal of Sulphur from the combustion process, ensuring that Kusile coal power plant will comply with the most stringent international standards and protect the communities around it while responding to growing energy demands across South Africa” said Lee Dawes, General Manager, GE Steam Power business in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are extremely proud of this milestone as our expert global and local Engineering Procurement and Commissioning teams have worked tirelessly to ensure that the WFGD system installed on Kusile’s Unit 1 performs well above the set parameters” said Nthabiseng Kubheka, GE’s Executive Project Director for Kusile’s 6 x 800MW Turbine Islands & WFGD Projects.

GE’s scope in Kusile is the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of six turbine islands, air cooled condensers and wet flue gas desulphurization plant (WFGD).  Once in full operation, Kusile power plant will consist of 6 units delivering 800MW each for a total of 4,800 MW. This is enough power to meet the electricity needs of 3.5 million households in South Africa.

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