South Africa’s need for more power

The urgency to improve plant availability and reliability to support South Africa’s social and economic development needs has never been greater. In the earlier part of this year, the country experienced rolling blackouts with the implementation of stage 4 load-shedding. This means, 4GW of the plant is not operating reliably to support the demand, leaving 3 million households off the national grid, impacting business operations. An ageing fleet (over three decades old) and lack of plant maintenance have significantly contributed to a steady decline in generating capacity.

As part of Eskom’s maintenance program set out to improve the technical performance of old plants, improving Kriel power station’s performance was critical in adding some much-needed MW back into the grid. The Kriel power station, located in the Mpumalanga province has been operating since 1979.

Can GE replace a generator stator core to improve plant life, reliability and save operational costs?

YES. GE’s scope was to design, manufacture and replace the station’s 40-year-old Stator Core. This was a first-of-its-kind complex modification project in the region and an important project for the station in bringing back Unit 2 into full service. Weighing in at over 200 tons, the stator core is at the heart of power generation. Once installed, the generator would play an integral part in reducing downtime, improving operating hours and extending the lifetime of the power plant by up to 25 years.

With a total capacity of 3000MW, the station’s six generators were originally built in 1971 by the Boveri Company and are one of many legacy brands that we support in our services business.

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