South Africa is home to one of the biggest single power projects in progress in the world right now, and WSP, Africa is working with state-owned Eskom to bring it to fruition. 

Medupi Power Station is the cornerstone of the South African Government’s Strategic Infrastructure Project 1 (SIP1), enshrined in its National Development Plan. This plan involves unlocking the rich mineral resources located in the Waterberg region, which is home to about 18 billion tons of coal. The area is also rich in chromite, platinum and palladium resources. In order to unlock these reserves, the region will be the beneficiary of significant investments in infrastructure, including water and transport.

Once completed, Medupi will be both the fourth-largest power station and the biggest dry-cooled power station in the world. 

It is being built in the Waterberg, which is anticipated to be the beneficiary of large investments from the country’s government to unlock the immense potential in these new coalfields. Already, the largest coal miner in the country is gearing up to feed this large mine-to-mouth power station with the fuel it needs to help South Africa power its economy. 

We are the owner’s engineer on this critical project, providing Eskom with full project management services for Medupi Power Station and its six 800MW turbines. 

A complete project management team is based on site to manage and co-ordinate the many contracts constituting this complex construction programme, which spans a number of specialised engineering disciplines.

Our project management team is complemented by our engineering support capability to the construction project.

Our on-site team is fully integrated with the client team, ensuring the best possible client service and successful delivery of the project.

This current responsibility follows our appointment by Eskom to provide general engineering and project management support to the utility’s challenging generation expansion programme, comprising three mega projects (Medupi, Kusile and Ingula) and we are working on Ingula in addition to Medupi.

We have nurtured a long-term business relationship with this important client.
Ian Beaumont Project Lead

Some of the milestones achieved on this project include evaluating and awarding contracts for the manufacture of the heart of the operation, namely the boiler and turbine generator – the largest contracts that Eskom has ever signed in its 90-year history. 

Coal will continue to play a significant role in South Africa’s future energy mix. As such, our team has worked with the client to employ the latest technology and environmental best practice to ensure that Medupi emits less carbon into the atmosphere, while bringing with it the benefits of reliable and cost-effective base-load generation capacity for 50 years.

The synchronisation of Medupi’s first unit (Unit 6) to the National grid on 2 March 2015, and the subsequent synchronisation of Unit 5 in August 2016, is a proud achievement for our team and our client, significantly relieving load-shedding in the country.