Waterberg Coal power station

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of South Africa
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Waterberg Coal power station was a proposed 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired station sponsored by Waterberg Coal for Waterberg District, South Africa.


The map below shows Waterberg coal field, the approximate location where the plant would be located, 15 km from the Medupi power station.

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In April 2015, Waterberg Coal Company submitted an application to establish a coal-fired independent power station with an initial capacity of 600 MW. It would have supported power generation for the company's proposed Limpopo-based coal mining projects, and would have used the mine's low-grade coal. It would have been 5 km from the Waterberg mines, and 15 km from the Medupi power station. A decision was expected on the company’s application for the plant by 2016.[1]

Project Not Selected in IPP Process

In October 2016, energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced that Thabametsi power station and Khanyisa power station were the preferred bidders for round one of the country's first Coal baseload Independent Power Producer (CIPP) programme. Under the programme, Khanyisa would begin operation in December 2020 and Thabametsi would begin operation in March 2021. The winning bids were 80c/kWh for Khanyisa and 79c/kWh. The tariff would increase to R1.1c once cost of connection is included.[2]

Although it was not chosen, as of 2017, Waterberg was still describing its intention to develop a 600 MW IPP project, with an additional 600 MW at the same site in a second stage.[3][4] However, as of December 2019, the project was no longer on the company website.

New coal plants looking unlikely

On September 1, 2017, the Minister of Energy announced that all future IPP programs in the country were on hold until a proper review was done and the government assessed the amount of power capacity needed.[5]

South Africa's draft Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP), released in August 2018, contained plans for an additional 1,000 MW of new coal-fired power on top of under-construction coal plants, namely Khanyisa power station and Thabametsi power station. No other coal plants are listed.[6]

Waterberg Coal mines

The Waterberg Coal Project was to consist of eight coal tenements totaling nearly 8,000 hectares in Waterberg District, with estimated coal mineral resources of 3.4 billion tonnes. As of 2015, Waterberg Coal was doing feasibility studies to mine coal for two projects: an export project of up to 4 million tonnes of coal for a minimum of 30 years, and the Eskom Project, to supply of up to 10 million tonnes of coal per annum for a period of 30 years to Eskom for the Majuba power station. The Waterberg coal power station would have used surplus or waste coal from the mines. Waterberg Coal and Firestone Energy had a combined 70% holding in the Waterberg Coal Project; the remaining 30% was held by Sekoko Resources.[7]

Financial Constraints

The Waterberg Coal Project and Waterberg Coal Company (WCC) appeared to have been delisted from the Sydney and Johannesburg stock exchanges after the company's recapitalisation by Sibanye Gold ended in failure in 2015.[8][9]

The Waterberg Coal Company did not appear to have a working website and little information was available about the company.

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Waterberg Energy Company
  • Parent company: Waterberg Coal Company
  • Location: Lephalale, Waterberg District, Limpopo Province, South Africa
  • Coordinates: -23.666667, 27.516667 (approximate)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Capacity: 600 MW
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type: Waste coal
  • Coal Source: Waterberg coal field
  • Source of financing:

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