Matla power station

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Matla power station is a 3,600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Mpumalanga, South Africa.


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

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Background on Plant

The Matla 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 3,600 megawatts (MW), comprising 6 X 600 MW units. The power station is located at Kriel, Mpumalanga.[1]

According to South Africa's 2019 Integrated Resource Plan, the plant's 50-year Life Decommissioning is projected for 2029-2033.[2] In April 2020, Eskom listed the planned retirement dates for the plant's six units between 2030 and 2034.[3]

In 2021, the Energy Systems Research Group (ESRG) found potential cost and greenhouse gas emissions savings if compliance with new standards is suspended for the Matla Power Station and the units are instead retired early.[4]

In October 2021, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment denied Eskom's request for environmental compliance postponement for the power station. Matla was also named as one of the highest-emitting stations.[5] Eskom appealed the decision and claimed that, if implemented, it "would have a significant negative impact on the economy and employment … and delay the country’s plans for an energy transition to a cleaner energy supply.”[6]

In May 2022, the Matla plant was sabotaged when a cable in Unit 1 was cut. This is part of a series of sabotages and thefts facing Eskom plants, following major loadshedding power outages caused by the company's aging infrastructure.[7]

In November 2022, several arrests were made after contracted truck drivers allegedly stole coal at the Matla power station.[8]

According to reports from December 2022, Unit 6 suffered damage to its electrical cables after spilled fuel oil started a localized fire. The damage was reportedly "not severe," and no foul play was suspected at the time.[9][10]

In May 2023, Eskom announced increased load shedding due to breakdowns at multiple power stations. At Matla, one unit had recently returned to service, while another unit had been delayed in returning online. Yet another unit had been taken offline after breaking down.[11]

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: Eskom
  • Parent company: Eskom
  • Location: Kriel, Nkangala District, Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Coordinates: -26.2813319, 29.1415062 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross capacity: 3,600 MW (Units 1-6: 600 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • In service: 1979-83
  • Project retirement: 2029-33 (or 2030-34)
  • Coal type:
  • Coal source:
  • Source of financing:

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