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Kusile and Medupi power stations continue to come under fire as poorly managed and ill-designed, remaining years behind completion dates amid drastically rising costs that now stand at R300bn by conservative estimates. Despite being the most expensive projects in the world, these power stations are reportedly failing in reliability, achieving a 40% rate at best. In planning, Kusile power station, in Mpumalanga, was to have six 800MW coal-fired generating units to generate a total capacity of 4,800MW. The project was expected to come on stream in six years, but by December 2016 had only synchronised the first unit. Full commercial operation of unit one was reached in August 2017. Although the commissioning of all six units is set down for by 2021, this is highly unlikely. 2008 marked SA’s introduction to load-shedding, which created a wave of urgency to begin Kusile’s development in haste. In retrospect, this was the first warning sign, the consequences of which would only emerge som...

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