Construction of Medupi power station at Lephalale in Limpopo, expected to be completed in 2019, will cost at least R105 billion, Eskom’s head of group capital said on Sunday.
”We do reviews on projects, in terms of scope, completion time, costs, and so on. R105 billion is what has been approved through governance structures for Medupi. There has been reports that the project would cost R300 billion… we do not know where that figure comes from,” Abram Masango told journalists during the official launch of unit six on site at Medupi.
President Jacob Zuma earlier unveiled unit six – the first of Medupi’s six units to be completed – which was expected to provide at least 800 MW of electricity to the struggling national power grid.
Masango said the last unit, unit one, would be completed in 2019, and was expected to be commercialised in 2020. The project, known as “Project Alpha”, commenced with three units in 2007, and was later expanded to six units.
Eskom acting CEO Brian Molefe said workers would leave Medupi equipped with various skills once the power station was completed.
“People will leave Medupi with good skills, and can find employment as artisans anywhere in the world… such skills are needed, and big projects like these give people skills for life.”
When asked how Eskom would prevent any possible further delays at Medupi, Molefe said strict adherence to project deadlines would be implemented.
”We are going to have strict project management principles and get everyone to focus on the task at hand… lessons have been learnt, we will make sure timelines are adhered to.”
The projected was budgeted for R69 billion when it commenced in 2007.
Medupi was scheduled to be fully online four years ago, but construction has been delayed by labour unrest, leading to spiraling costs running into billions of rand.