With more load shedding this week, Eskom continues to struggle to supply power to South Africa. The state utility announced this morning that it would continue to implement Stage 2 load shedding into Friday.

In a press statement it said it has now lost 14,000MW due to unexpected breakdowns and scheduled maintenance overnight. Eskom also said its emergency reserves were insufficient to meet the demand for electricity during the day, and would thus need to load shed during day hours.

Way back in 2007 (13 years ago now) the world was a very different place. South Africa’s economy was booming, and the country committed to spending a lot of money on upgrading its electricity generation capacity. That year alone Eskom approved 13 projects worth more than R200 billion with grand intentions to increase its output by 56% by 2017.

Key to this expansion were two mega-projects: coal fired power stations Medupi and Project Bravo (now Kusile). Back then the stations were expected to cost a total of R163.2 billion and bring in 9,600 megawatts (MW).

At a soil-turning ceremony in August 2007, Medupi was expected to bring 4,788MW of power. It was hailed as a bright beacon for the future for Eskom, the first station of its kind to be built over the last 20 years, and with the last of its 6 units expected to be commissioned in 2015.

Thirteen years later the power station is yet to be completed. South Africans will be lucky if it is finished by 2021, while Kusile’s expected completion date has been pushed to 2023.

The R163.2 billion has ballooned to a staggering R451 billion if you include the cost of interest during construction and fitting the plants with equipment needed to meet environmental standards, reported Paul Burkhardt and Michael Cohen for Bloomberg and published on Fin24.