Kendal Power Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Kendal power station is a 4,116-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Mpumalanga, South Africa.


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

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Background on Plant

The Kendal 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 4,116 megawatts (MW) comprising 6 X 686 MW units. The power station is located at Witbank, Mpumalanga.[1]

In May 2020, it was reported that South Africa's Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries ordered Eskom to stop operations at either Unit 1 or Unit 5 of the power plant after the company failed with its air emission licences. Eskom was told to carry out required maintenance and to submit an action plan to ensure compliance for Units 2, 3, 4 and 6. The ministry would decide at a later stage if operations at Unit 1 or Unit 5 could continue.[2]

In November 2020, the Ministry revealed that summons was served on Eskom notifying it of the decision by the Senior Public Prosecutor to pursue criminal prosecution for supplying false and misleading information in reports prepared by management at Kendal power station.[3][4][5]

Air Pollution Equipment

The state-owned utility’s inability to curb pollution from its plants prompted a lawsuit against the government from environmental activists because of the high pollution levels from Eskom and Sasol Ltd. in Mpumalanga. In July 2019, Eskom said pollution reduction equipment at the Kendal plant had been malfunctioning since early 2018. The equipment regulates the release of particulate matter.[6]

Following public investigations of the plant's emissions,[7] Eskom Audit and Forensic conducted an internal investigation on air quality compliance and reporting. In 2020, the Eskom investigation found that “allegations made by media personalities are mainly proven true,” and that Eskom Generation management should take heed of the reality of Kendal’s poor emissions performance.[3]

Ash Disposal

In May 2021, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment refused an integrated environmental authorisation application by Eskom to build a new 30-year coal ash waste disposal facility at the Kendal power station on the basis of insufficient mitigation of potentially detrimental environmental impacts.[8]

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: Eskom
  • Parent company: Eskom
  • Location: Kendal, Nkangala District, Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Coordinates: -26.0902853, 28.9687965 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross capacity: 4,116 MW (Units 1-6: 686 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • In service: 1988-93
  • Coal type:
  • Coal source:
  • Source of financing:

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