Grootvlei Power Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Grootvlei power station is a 1,190-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

The plant's six units were planned for retirement by 2020.[1] However, Eskom subsequently changed the closure date to 2030. [2]


The map below shows the location of the plant, near Grootvlei, Gert Sibande District, Mpumalanga.

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Background on Plant

The Grootvlei Power Station is a coal-fired station owned by the South African publicly-owned electricity utility Eskom, located at Balfour, Mpumalanga. The power station consists of six units of approximately 200 MW each. The first unit was commissioned in 1969, and the last in 1977. Three of Grootvlei's units were mothballed in 1989 and the rest in 1990. Eskom recommissioned three units in each of 2008 and 2009.[3] Unit 5 was re-optimised to full capacity and reclassified from 160 MW to 190 MW in April 2013.[4]

In March 2017 Eskom said that it would hold meetings with the government and labour to discuss its plans to decommission five power stations over the next five years: Komati Power Station, Hendrina Power Station, Kriel Power Station, Grootvlei Power Station, and Camden Power Station. Eskom said the stations are old and unneeded, given the country's plans for new power capacity by independent power producers (IPPs).[5] In May 2020 it was reported that Eskom had changed its planning on closing the Grootvlei plant as well as its Camden and Hendrina plants. These plants, which were scheduled to close between 2020 and 2026, will now stay open until 2030.[2]

In 2017, two older coal-fired units from Eskom's Grootvlei Power Station, one older unit from Eskom's Hendrina Power Station, and two older units from Eskom's Komati Power Station were placed into cold reserve because their running costs are higher than other units. A government spokesman said that the old stations are expected to remain uneconomical to run, even if refurbished, compared to renewable energy IPP power options and the company's newer stations at Medupi and Kusile.[6]

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: Eskom
  • Parent company: Eskom
  • Location: Grootvlei, Gert Sibande District, Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Coordinates: -26.7684944, 28.4977584 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross capacity: 1,190 MW (Units 1-4, unit 6: 200 MW; unit 5: 190 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • In service: commissioned 1969-1977, recommissioned 2008-2009
  • Coal type:
  • Coal source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. "Eskom starts shutting down old coal power plants," Fin24, Mar 01 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 South Africa may forces Eskom to halt two units at 3.5 GW Kendal coal-fired plant Enerdata, May 20, 2020
  3. South African government, "National Response to South Africa's Electricity Shortage", January 2008.
  4. "Eskom Generation and Transmission Expansion Plans," Presentation by Andrew Etzinger, Senior General Manager of Eskom, March 2013.
  5. "NUM goes to war over proposed Eskom power station closures," Mining Weekly, Mar 29, 2017
  6. Tebogo Tshwane, "Jobs Issue Plagues Green Energy," Mail&Guardian, 18 May 2018

Related articles

External resources