24 November 2009
French engineering firm Alstom has won a contract worth over €100-million (about R1.1-billion) from state power company Eskom to provide the instrumentation and control system for the Medupi power plant currently under construction near Lephalale in South Africa’s Limpopo province.
The plant will be the largest dry-cooled coal fired power plant in the world, with a total output of almost 4 800 megawatts, powered by six 790-megawatt Alstom turbines and generators.
“The award of this contract confirms Eskom’s confidence in Alstom and recognises the quality and performance of Alstom’s automation offering,” Alstom Power president Philippe Joubert said in a statement this week.
Eskom has launched a massive infrastructure investment programme to double the country’s electricity sector in the decade to come, and the new power plant will provide a significant increase in South Africa’s energy capacity.
Under the terms of the contract, Alstom will engineer, supply and install its latest state-of-the-art distributed control system, the ALSPA Series 6, and all related instrumentation.
Alstom’s ALSPA Series 6 system is an open and secure IT platform which optimises running costs and provides operators with a safe and user-friendly tool.
According to the company, the control system will ensure safe, efficient monitoring and control of the plant’s critical equipment, while easing Medupi’s integration into Eskom’s existing fleet of power plants.
“The ALSPA Series 6 distributed control system is the first major product resulting from our collaboration with Microsoft to address the new ‘smart grid’ challenges,” said Joubert.
“Alstom’s energy management solutions help energy producers to optimise their assets in this new energy environment.”
Alstom is a leader in the South African energy market, where it has been present for over 100 years, and is currently retrofitting Koeberg, South Africa’s only nuclear power plant, to increase power output by over 65 megawatts.
The company has also provided Eskom with the option, worth an additional €100-million, to install an identical system on Medupi’s sister plant, Kusile.
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