Timing is everything as massive Kusile automation project achieves key early milestones

ABB’s biggest automation order at Kusile thermal power plant in South Africa celebrates in these days its first important success.


Owned by the South African electrical utility, Eskom, Kusile Power Station will comprise six units of 800 megawatt (MW) each, will be the world's fourth-largest coal-fired power station, and will help boost South Africa's capacity to support the country's economy. It is located about 120 kilometers from the city of Johannesburg in the north-east region of South Africa.

ABB is on schedule to complete automation for Generating Unit 1 of the power station with successful factory acceptance tests (FATs) of the balance-of-plant and of the unit performed late last year.

"With record timing as a key deliverable of such an intrinsically complex project, there is excellent cooperation between the Eskom and ABB teams with very strict monitoring on each element of the project to ensure that deadlines are adhered to," commented Kevin Kosisko, ABB's Power Generation business Managing Director. "We are extremely pleased that our technology will be the keystone to bring reliable power supply to consumers and a step ahead in the development of South Africa's power infrastructure".

As part of the order, ABB is supplying the control system, software and instrumentation solution for all six of the station's 800-MW generating units, which will supply power to the entire country when the plant is completely operational by the last quarter of 2022. The solution also includes unit and balance-of-plant automation, field instrumentation, cabling, boiler protection and plant simulator, engineering, installation, commissioning, optimization and training.

"The ABB Kusile team comprises approximately 40 percent local engineers," said Leon Viljoen, Country Managing Director, South Africa. "With this, we are dedicated to ensuring that there is adequate transfer of knowledge in order to build local capacity so that we can support Kusile Power Station after the completion of the project."
The Kusile power plant belongs to a new generation of high-pressure, high-temperature thermal power installations known as supercritical plants, which are more efficient than conventional coal-fired plants, featuring lower emissions and fuel costs.

Kusile will be the first plant in Africa to use wet flue gas desulphurization technology in all boilers. Eskom generates more than 90 percent of its electricity from coal-fired stations, and for Kusile is installing state-of-the-art clean coal technology in one of its largest plants to help ensure a long term, reliable source of baseload electricity for the region.

ABB automation and software increases the effectiveness of plant processes by improving operational awareness, response times with decision making, resulting in better availability and efficiency.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport & infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.


Contact us


Share this article

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter WhatsApp