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Velaphi Ntuli, Koeberg Power Station Manager

Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station has today launched a mobile groundwater desalination plant, which will take care of the station’s water needs, thus easing the pressure on the City of Cape Town’s water supply.

“The desalination plant is part of Koeberg’s three-pronged water management strategy to address the current water shortages in the Western Cape while ensuring that the plant is able to provide safe and sustainable electricity. This strategy includes reducing the power station’s daily water usage, keeping adequate on-site water storage and looking at alternative water supplies groundwater and sea-water,” says Velaphi Ntuli, Koeberg Power Station Manager.

“When the City of Cape Town called on the people of the Western Cape to address the water issue, we had to respond with a sustainable solution as a responsible corporate citizen. To this end, we have saved approximately 115 000 kl since June 2017, compared to previous averages. This equates to the City of Cape Town supplying 10.5 kl of water to approximately 11000 houses for a month. Our water tanks are kept full to cater for emergencies,” continues Ntuli.

Koeberg, Africa’s only nuclear power station, has an installed capacity of 1 860MW, which provides 50% of the Western Cape’s and approximately 5.6% of South Africa’s energy needs. It has operated safely and efficiently for 33 years.

This power station can only operate about two weeks without off-site potable water. The desalination solution was therefore quite important to ensure continuity of supply. It is worth noting that Koeberg saves 22 billion litres of fresh water per annum as its condensers are cooled by means of sea water, which is returned to the sea after use.

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