Top 10 Biggest Power Stations In South Africa (2022)

Power is a key factor in assessing the development of any country. The biggest power stations in South Africa are the biggest contributors to the nation’s electricity distribution network. They provide the power that lights up South African homes, offices, factories, hospitals, and everything else. South Africa is a pioneer of technology and industry, and so however it chooses to drive its power stations will be the standard for much of the continent.

South African power stations have adequately provided the electricity required to keep the economy growing at the rapid pace with which expanded; even becoming one of the biggest economies on the continent.

South African power stations are mostly centrally located, and from that central location, they provide electricity to even the most remote locations in the country.

Biggest Power Stations In South Africa

1. Kusile Power Station

Production: 4,800 Mega Watts

The Kusile Power Station is a 4,800 Mega Watts power station located in Mpumalanga, on the Eastern Side of South Africa. The power station is operated by Eskom, which is South Africa’s biggest power company.

The power station is Coal-fired and is actually a big installation with 6 operational power plants.  When fully operational it will provide a major boost to the South African power situation.

The boilers and other components of this power station were supplied by Hitachi.

2. Medupi Power Station

Production: 4,788 Mega Watts

The Medupi Power Station is a coal-fired power plant located in Limpopo, which is in the northern part of the country. Medupi Power Station is operated by Eskom; South Africa’s biggest energy company.

Medupi Power Station was commissioned in early 2001, and the steam turbines are provided by Alstom, while the supercritical boilers are provided by Hitachi.

Coal for the power station is provided by the Grootegeluk coal mine, located north of the site. The mine is operated by Exxaro, and Eskom has a contract with the company to supply 14.6 Metric Tonnes of coal per year. The contract will last for 40 years.

3. Kendal Power Station

Production: 4,116 Mega Watts

Kendal Power Station is a Coal-fired power station located in Mpumalanga, in the Eastern part of the country. The name plate capacity of the power station is 4,116 Mega Watts, and that amount of power is achieved by six 686 Mega Watt units.

Coal for this plant is sourced from different places, but also from the AEMFC’s coal mine at Vlakfontein, near Ogies.

The design of this power plant allows it to be air cooled. This also means that it loses plenty of water (80%) through evaporation. The power plant has received many awards, but it has also been called the most polluting power plant in the world.

4. Majuba Power Station                         

Production: 4,110 Mega Watts

Majuba Power Station is a coal-fired power plant in Mpumalanga- eastern South Africa. The power station is operated by Eskom and is billed to produce 4,110 Mega Watts of power.

It achieves that amount of power through 3 X 665 Mega Watts and another 3 power plants with a capacity of 716 Mega Watts; combining to make it one of the biggest power stations in South Africa.

Coal for this power plant does not come from a single source; Eskom receives coal to fire this plant from several sources, but still manages to operate the station very smoothly. Majuba Power Station was originally supposed to get the needed coal from the nearby Rand mine, but the mine was decommissioned.

5. Matimba Power Station                      

Production: 3,990 Mega Watts

Matimba Power Station is a coal-fired power plant that is located in Limpopo. The mine is operated by Eskom, and it is billed to provide 3,990 Mega Watts, which is achieved by six 665 MW units.

Matimba Power Station is dry cooled, which means that it does not require so much water to cool it, and also it does not pollute the environment.

Matimba is fueled by coal from the open cast Grootegeluk coal mine on the Waterberg Coalfield. It needs about 14.6 million tons of coal a year, and it is supplied directly by a conveyor belt.

6. Lethabo Power Station

Production: 3,708 Mega Watts

Lethabo Power Station is a coal-fired power station located in Free State, South Africa. The power station is operated by Eskom and is billed to provide 3,708 Mega Watts of power, which is obtained from six 618MW plants. It has about 1100 employees working directly at the power station.

Lethabo Power Station is coal-fired; the coal comes from several sources across South Africa.

7. Tutuka Power Station

Production: 3,654 Mega Watts

Tutuka Power Station is a coal-fired power station located in Mpumalanga, eastern South Africa. The power station is operated by Eskom, and the billed capacity is 3,654 Mega Watts. This power is achieved by six 609MW power plants.

The power plant gets its coal from several sources.

8.  Matla Power Station                             

Production: 3,600 Mega Watts

Matla Power Station is a coal-fired power station located in Mpumalanga, eastern South Africa. The station is operated by Eskom, and the coal is supplied by the nearby Matla Coal Mine.

The mine initially had some structural issues; part of it collapsed; killing 4 workers. However, it was redesigned and reopened. The power station has been operating smoothly ever since.

9. Duvha Power Station

Production: 3,600 Mega Watts

Duvha Power Station is a Coal-fired power station located in Mpumalanga, eastern South Africa. Duvha Power Station boasts the second and third tallest structures in Africa; the chimneys are about 300 metres tall.

Duvha Power Station is operated by Eskom, and has a billed capacity of 3,600 Mega Watts. This amount of power is achieved with six 600 MW plants. This power plant is very clean; 99% of the ash is filtered out as it works through the chimneys. This ash would have been released into the atmosphere; constituting air pollution.

10. Kriel Power Station

Production: 3,000 Mega Watts

Kriel Power Station is a Coal-fired power station located in Mpumalanga, eastern South Africa. The billed capacity of this power station is 3,000 Mega Watts, which is achieved with six 500MW units.

However; the design is quite different from most other power stations because all the power turbines are housed in a single structure.

The power station is operated by Eskom, and the coal is obtained from a mine close by.

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Finally

There are several power stations in the country, but these are the biggest power stations in South Africa. Coal-Fired power stations are popular in the country because of the abundance of this resource.

Presently, renewable energy is being championed in South Africa, and there is no doubt that there will be a massive adoption of this type of power before there is any worry about the availability of coal.

It is important to note down that there are some relevant social and technical discrepancies between the fossil and the nuclear power stations. The discrepancy is that whereas the former serves as the plant’s main source of fuel, the latter generates electricity through the use of heat from atomic fission.