• Partners pull out of development of new South African coal-fired power plant, causing headaches for the government

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The consortium building South Africa’s 630 MWe Thabametsi coal-fired power plant has asked to withdraw from the project, Reuters has reported. The Thabametsi Project Company, formed by Korea Electric Power Corporation, Japan’s Marubeni Corporation, and various local companies, last week suffered the withdrawal from the consortium of its two international members, effectively rending the project inoperable if new partners cannot be found. Environmentalists had objected to the plant both on climate change and water consumption grounds (Thabametsi being located in the arid Limpopo province), and will be pleased at the latest turn of events, although with South Africa having long experienced intermittent blackouts, and the plant having been due to come online next year, the government will be lamenting the apparent collapse of the project. Another project, the 450 MW Khanyisa coal-fired plant in Mpumalanga, with different companies involved, is still on track to go ahead.