Kusile power station to be completed by 2025 within its R161bn budget, says Mabuza

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Kusile to be completed by 2025 with no cost overruns, says Eskom.
Kusile to be completed by 2025 with no cost overruns, says Eskom.

Government has been given the assurance that the Kusile power station will be completed within the 2024/25 financial year and within the budget of R161.4 billion.

Responding to questions in the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday, Deputy President David Mabuza said the project budget remains unchanged.

Construction on the controversial power plant – which was supposed to contribute 10% of Eskom’s electricity supply - started in 2008, and was supposed to have been finished by 2014. The initial budget was around R81 billion.

But by 2015, while far from being completed, the estimated cost of the project was increased to R118.5 billion. Various reports found corruption and mismanagement at Kusile, which was also beset by technical problems.

Two years ago, Eskom again increased the estimated cost - this time to R161.4 billion.

Almost 13 years after construction started, only three of six units at Kusile are in operation.

Mabuza said this week that said delays at Unit 4 to Unit 6 were due to contractor, financial, commercial and contractual issues. Like the Medupi power station, Kusile has been hampered by serious design flaws, particularly affecting their enormous boilers.

He said that Unit 4 should be operational by January 2023, followed by Unit 5 (December 2023) and Unit 6 (May 2024). 

Mabuza told Parliament that the Eskom board and management have been driving efforts to complete Kusile to meet the target date. Further he said, the project team is pursuing rigorous schedule recovery plans for achievements of milestones that are at risk.

"The Eskom board and management are committed to completing Kusile power station within the revised, board-approved completion date in the 2024/25 financial year, and within the project budget of R161.4 billion, excluding interest during construction. 

"This project budget remains unchanged," said Mabuza.

The Kusile power station is situated in the Nkangala District of Mpumalanga, while its twin, the Medupi power station, is in the Lephalale district of Limpopo.

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