LEPHALALE — Phillip Dukashe is also known for bringing Majuba Power Station back to operation after the silo collapse in November 2014. But since January this year he has been Medupi’s project director. Mogol Post had the honour to meet the man behind this enormous project in person on Wednesday 14 September.
A proud Dukashe says Eskom also celebrated another mile stone last week with Unit 5 being synchronised to the national grid – before the due date! By commercialization, another 800 megawatts will be added to the grid. Dukashe says one megawatt can feed up to 650 homes.
He explained that being synchronised means that all the construction activities including commissioning come together. Synchronisation is when the generator in the unit is connected into the power grid so that it is aligned with all other generators on the national grid. It then starts to generate and deliver electricity into the grid over several months.
This however doesn’t mean that Unit 5 can immediately be commercialised, because the whole process of commissioning and synchronising until perfection is reached, is estimated to be finished by March 2018 when commercialization will take effect.
There are still many tests to be done to get it operating without manual intervention.
He describes the commercialization of a unit as the moment that you can simply press a button and the process starts. Everything has to be automated.
He emphasized that this project is a team effort and when completed, Medupi Power Station will produce 4 800 MW of power.
Dukashe, a civil engineer by profession, has been working for Eskom for 22 years at various managerial levels.
From 2010 until January 2016, he was general manager for Generation Coal Projects, which included the major refurbishment of coal fired power stations such as return to service of the Komati, Camden and Grootvlei power stations.
Between 2001 and 2005 he was a power station manager for Tutuka power station.
Once completed, Medupi will be the fourth largest coal-fired power plant, and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world. Dry-cooling systems use air instead of water to cool the steam exiting a turbine.
The power plant also incorporates super critical technology, which is able to operate at higher temperatures than Eskom’s earlier generation of boilers and turbines.