Hendrina Power Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Hendrina power station is a 1,400-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Mpumalanga, South Africa.


The map below shows the location of the plant, near Pullens Hope, Nkangala District, Mpumalanga.

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The Hendrina Power Station is a coal-fired station owned by the South African publicly-owned electricity utility Eskom. The power station has an installed capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW) installed capacity comprising 10 X 200 MW units. It was built between 1970 and 1976 and refurbished in the mid 1990s.[1]

The plant's generation output in 2010 was 12,143 GWh and dropped to 7,356 GWh in 2019. In 2019, the plant employed 609 people.[2]

In October 2021, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment granted Eskom with positive environmental compliance postponement decisions for Grootvlei as it was scheduled to shut down.[3]

Initial retirement plans

In March 2019, it was reported that three of the plant's ten 200 MW units had been retired. The remaining seven 200 MW units were expected to be shut down between June 2019 and November 2022.[4] According to Eskom's 2020 Annual Report, units 1, 3, 8, and 9 "have been placed in reserve storage or extended inoperability and their capacity removed from the nominal base... due to technical and/or financial constraints."[5]

In May 2020, it was reported that Eskom had changed its plan on closing the Hendrina plant as well as its Camden and Grootvlei plants. These plants, which were scheduled to close between 2020 and 2026, would now stay open until 2030.[6]

Proposed renewal

In April 2016, the Eskom Board said it approved the commencement of a pre-feasibility study for renewal options for four of our oldest power stations - Komati, Camden, Hendrina, and Arnot. The pre-feasibility study would take 18 months to complete, and would include looking at options such as plant life extension.[7]

However, 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).[8]

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 were higher than other units. A government spokesman said that the old stations were 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.[9]

In November 2020, the World Bank Group invited expressions of interest from consultants to assess the implications of retiring the Camden, Hendrina, Grootvlei, and Komati coal plants. The consultant were to look at the technical, environmental, socioeconomic, and financial implications of decommissioning the plants to help inform the WBG’s future engagement with South Africa.[10]

Eskom was looking at options for repurposing the plants with the core aims of “reusing existing power transmission infrastructure, developing new generation capacity, providing ancillary services, and mitigating socioeconomic impact. In addition to conversion to gas or use of the site for renewable generation or battery storage, parts of the infrastructure can be used for ancillary services such as frequency and voltage control and inertia. It launched a request for information in May 2020 following an internal technical review.”[10][11]

As of August 2021, a repowering and repurposing project similar to developments at the Komati Power Station was planned at the Grootvlei plant, now scheduled for closure by 2025."South Africa's Eskom plans sharp reduction of coal-fired power by 2031," Reuters, August 17, 2021</ref>[12]

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: Eskom
  • Parent company: Eskom
  • Location: Pullens Hope, Nkangala District, Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Coordinates: -26.0320437, 29.6016128 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross capacity: 1,400 MW (7 x 200 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Start year: 1970-76
  • Planned retirement: 2025
  • Coal type:
  • Coal source:
  • Source of financing:

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