Engineering and environmental consultancy SSI is undertaking a number of infrastructure upgrades in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), including structural and building infrastructure upgrades at the Ngwelezane and Empangeni provincial hospitals and the Estcourt prison.
The R7-million Empangeni Hospital Project was awarded to SSI in September 2003 by the KwaZulu-Natal Public Works Department and includes work at both the Empangeni and Ngwelezane hospitals.
The overall project is scheduled for completion in December 2013.
The main contract is a four-storey exten- sion to the existing Empangeni hospital building, which is currently under construction, with 20% already complete.
The extension of the Empangeni provincial hospital accounts for 60% of the total project scope and involves the complete upgrade of the existing hospital, including a 200-bed extension, essentially doubling the hospital’s size, says SSI sector area manager Cobus van Deventer.
The project scope for the remaining work at the Empangeni provincial hospital site entails the replacement of the cold-water piping with copper piping, as well as the chillers; the upgrade of the nursery and the new-mothers lodge, all of which have been completed.
Upgrades to the existing building include work at the antiretroviral clinic; the corridor, kitchen, laundry and store areas; the nurses residences; the security and transport building; the workshop; and the refuse and medical waste areas.
A paediatric centre is being added onto the existing hospital and is 20% complete, says Van Deventer.
Meanwhile, the project scope at the Ngwelezane hospital site includes chiller replacement, corridor upgrades and exten- sions to the trauma and casualty depart- ments, all of which have been completed.
Upgrades were also undertaken at the mortuary, the workshops, the nurses college, the transport facility and the clinical engineering offices of the existing hospital.
Further, two new staff residences have been built, as well as a psychiatric ward, a psychiatric outpatient clinic and a therapy department.
The existing wards were demolished and replaced with new 72-bed wards.
Future work at the hospital will include the construction of a new 72-bed ward, a theatre block, an administation block and upgrading of the existing kitchen and laundry areas.
An additional project awarded to SSI by the KwaZulu-Natal Public Works Department is the R2.3-million upgrade of the Estcourt Prison.
Van Deventer reports that the site was handed over at the end of May, following the tender process and contractor appointment.
The scope of the project, which is scheduled for completion in July 2013, comprises the complete electrical design and installation, including reticulation; power; lighting and closed-circuit television, an intercom system and wireways for telephones.
It also includes heating, ventilation and air conditioning; refrigeration; fire prevention systems; kitchen equipment; medical gas; and a hot water plant.
SSI is responsible for submitting a progress report to the KwaZulu-Natal Depart- ment of Public Works, as well as the part-time contract administration and site supervision.
SSI is also involved in water infrastructure upgrades in KZN, including the augmentation of the Hazelmere to Ballito pipeline, the ED2–ED4 pipeline and the ED4 to Umlaas road pipeline.
These bulk water infrastructure upgrades are being undertaken in response to the increasing water demands of the eThekwini municipality and the Durban and Pieter- maritzburg areas.
The latest pipeline upgrade is the 13-km-long ED4 to Umlaas road pipeline, which was awarded to onshore pipeline rehabilitator Esorfranki Pipelines, in April and is scheduled for completion in January 2014.
This upgrade forms part of the so-called existing ’61 Pipeline, which conveys potable water from the Midmar water treatment works (WTW) to Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
SSI water engineer Darren van Rooyen explains that the duplication of the ’61 Pipeline will be done in stages, with a second pipeline system being installed parallel to the existing system.
“The first stage consists of the pipeline from ED2 to ED4, while the second stage consists of the pipeline from ED4 to Umlaas road – with a simultaneous project to supply bulk potable water to Richmond.”
Umgeni Water contracted Esorfranki Pipelines as the contractor for both projects.
Subcontractors include PPT, which was reponsible for the cathodic protection; subconsultancy JCM Surveys, which conducted engineering surveys; and Intervention Systems, which is the health and safety agent on the project.
The R52-million ED2–ED4 pipeline comprises a 3.8 km 1 300-mm-diameter pipe with 40 bar-rated valves, which was recently completed.
The next stage, the R196-million ED4 to Umlaas road pipeline comprises a 13 km 1 100-mm-diameter pipe with PN 40- and PN 25-rated valves.
Both pipelines are continuously welded steel pipes with epoxy linings and bitumen coatings, notes Van Rooyen.
The ED4 to Umlaas road pipeline crosses under the N3 in a jacked sleeve with a 15-m-high vertical access shaft on the northern side.
Van Rooyen says both pipelines include offtakes and cross connections with the existing ’61 Pipeline.
He adds that a significant challenge during the ED2–ED4 project was the tie-in of the new pipeline to the existing ’61 Pipeline.
“The amount of work required on such large-diameter pipes and fittings is [extensive considering] the short shutdown periods allowed. To mitigate a water shortage to consumers in Edendale and eThekwini, only short shutdown periods were allowed,” explains Van Rooyen.
SSI was able to overcome this challenge by conducting the tie-ins in smaller, more manageable stages than originally planned, to reduce downtime.
“The design of the three projects was carried out by SSI under one appointment to handle all the complexities of the inter- connected hydraulic and operational requirements, states Van Rooyen.
SSI is also involved in the R52-million Hazelmere to Ballito pipeline project, which will transport water from the Hazelmere WTW to the La Mercy bifurcation point.
“The project entails the supply and laying of 10.8 km of 700-mm-diameter continuously welded steel pipeline with a cement mortar lining and a polyurethane coating by the main project contractor, Icon Construction,” says Van Rooyen.
SSI is responsible for providing the detailed design, water hammer analyses, preparation of construction drawings, tender documentation and reporting, construction management and construction monitoring, as well as the commissioning and handover to the client.
Phase 1 of the pipeline was designed and commissioned by SSI in 1995, while the detailed design of Phase 2 was awarded in August 2009.
Phase 2 is about 30% complete.
“Umgeni Water’s target date for completion is November, in line with peak water demand, owing to the influx of holidaymakers to Ballito,” states Van Rooyen.
Minor rehabilitation and concrete work on the pipeline will be completed by March 2013.
An area of difficulty during the project was the stringent environmental conditions set by the Dube TradePort (DTP) – an international airport and trade development in KZN – to accommodate a future road to the DTP, which would cross the pipeline serviture and require SSI to make late changes to accommodate this.
To overcome these difficulties, an agreement between the environmental control officers of both Umgeni Water and DTP was reached to reallocate a portion of DTP’s offset wetland to accommodate the pipeline.