Tutuka Power Station
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of South Africa|
Tutuka power station is a 3,654-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
The map below shows the location of the plant, near Standerton, Gert Sibande District, Mpumalanga.
Background on Plant
The Tutuka 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 3,654 megawatts (MW) installed capacity comprising 6 X 609 MW units.
As of 2018, Eskom was seeking an exemption until at least 2024 from pollution standards for its Tutuka plant. The plant, which is located in the heavily polluted Highveld Priority Area in Mpumalanga province, has been estimated to cause the premature deaths of 192 people a year and an economic loss of 2.4 billion rand (US$200 million) a year from health costs. Eskom is currently allowed to emit up to three and a half times more in particulate emissions than allowed under the minimum emission standards adopted in 2015.
In November 2020, the South African Department of Environment Forestry and Fisheries revealed that in May 2020, the agency issued compliance notices to the Tutuka Power Station to rectify exceedances of emission limits and breaches of water licenses that have led to ground and surface-water pollution.
The power station is frequently partially responsible for Eskom's loadshedding. For example, three units at the station were down in May 2021 "due to loss of air compressors."
In October 2021, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment partially granted environmental compliance postponement for the power station. Tutuka was also named as one of the highest-emitting stations.
Eskom was planning technology updates in order to address particulate matter emissions, but the company's 2021 Integrated Report states that this was being reassessed due to "funding constraints".
In December 2020, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) closed a probe into alleged sabotage at Eskom's Tutuka power station, Fin24 reported. This came a year after President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short a foreign trip to announce that sabotage had contributed to severe power cuts that led to unprecedented stage 6 load shedding. But according to the Hawks, the NPA closed the case, citing a "lack of evidence to validate the initial suspicion".
In August 2021, Eskom placed seven managers on precautionary suspension over possible continued gross negligence in the performance of their duties at Tutuka power station.
In November 2021, the power station's general manager Sello Mametja called law enforcement to investigate issues at the power station. He said that if any of his staff members were to sabotage the power supply, he would know. This came after Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said that the power utility was investigating suspicious circumstances surrounding the breakdowns of several power stations.
(Articles have referenced arrests related to charges of theft, fraud, and corruption associated with fuel oil.)
In May 2022, another act of sabotage occurred when a warming valve cable was cut "just outside the sight" of the facility's cameras. Many similar incidents have occurred across Eskom's plants, following major loadshedding power outages caused by the company's aging infrastructure.
- Sponsor: Eskom
- Parent company: Eskom
- Location: Standerton, Gert Sibande District, Mpumalanga, South Africa
- Coordinates: -26.7771561, 29.3523764 (exact)
- Status: Operating
- Gross capacity: 3,654 MW (Units 1-6: 609 MW)
- Type: Subcritical
- In service: 1985-90
- Projected retirement: 2035-41
- Coal type:
- Coal source:
- Source of financing:
Articles and Resources
- "Generations Plant Mix Revision 8," Eskom, May 2008
- "Eskom seeks to delay compliance with air pollution standards," Mining Review, March 15, 2018
- "Eskom ordered to rectify pollution issues at three power plants," Engineering News, November 13, 2020
- "National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2019-20," Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, 2020
- "Cape Town wants to leave Eskom and load shedding behind – but needs government to speed things up," Business Tech, May 17, 2021
- “Eskom to engage on way forward after being denied permission to delay air-quality compliance,” Engineering News, December 14, 2021
- "Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2019)," South Africa, October 2019 (figure 26)
- "Response of Eskom to CER, Reference number: PAIA 0087 MAN," CER website, April 28, 2020
- “2021 Integrated Report,” Eskom, October 2021
- "Eskom suspends 7 managers at Tutuka over allegations of 'continued gross negligence'," Fin24, August 11, 2021
- "Three cases of sabotage under investigation at Tutuka Power station," 702, November 18, 2021
- "Two Eskom employees, supplier in court for theft of fuel worth ’hundreds of millions’ from Tutuka power station," IOL, November 5, 2021
- "Eskom finds second act of sabotage at Tutuka as air pipe is cut," News 24, May 18, 2022