Dec 05, 2008
Medupi project on track for scheduled deliveryBack
© Reuse this
Eskom spokesperson Fani Zulu, indicates that the current progress is based on a five-day work schedule. Efforts are being put into place to accelerate the work schedule.
Eskom says that the rock foundation conditions encountered at Medupi have not been as expected.
Specifically, it has been found that although normal blasting removed the rock, it also resulted in the shattering of rock some distance away from the intended areas. It has, therefore, been necessary to resort to the use of controlled blasting through the use of more, significantly smaller, explosive charges.
Zulu reports that this did not delay the completion of the site preparation and terracing work and the site was handed over to the main civils contractors on the agreed date.
Current indications from Eskom indicate that the first unit should be ready for commercial operation in April 2012.
After the completion of the preparation of the rock excavation area, Eskom handed over the area to its subsidiary, Roshcon, for site preparation and terracing. This has been completed and the rock excavation area has been handed over to the MPS joint venture between civils contractors Murray & Roberts, Concor and Grinaker-LTA.
The turbine generator contractor for the Medupi project, Alstom South Africa, is on site and is supervising the construction of the turbine hall in line with its overall design for the project.
Eskom reports that Hitachi Power Africa, boiler contractor for the Medupi project, is on site and is in the process of completing the construction of the company’s on-site fabrication plant.
The design reviews of the boilers and turbines are ongoing.
The interfaces between the main civils, turbine and boiler contracts are being clarified, with each of the contractors’ individual programmes being integrated into the overall Medupi schedule.
In June, Engineering News reported that the foremost environ- mental consideration was the relocation of a baobab tree that was believed to be a few hundred years old and which has been described as a visual beacon.
After a lengthy process, the tree was relocated to where the future entrance to the power station will be sited. The 70-t tree sprouted its first leaves in February.
Many other indigenous trees were also either replanted or transported to a special nursery at the nearby Matimba power station.
Because the site for the Medupi power station was previously an area where a number of wild animals roamed freely, Eskom needed to relocate some 30 to 40 animals to a neighbouring nature reserve.
The utility reports that a programme has been initiated to capture and relocate all the snakes found on the construction site; this is being done in conjunction with a local snake expert. The snake expert also presents educational talks to the workers on site.
The topsoil and vegetation, which are being removed as part of the clearing process, are being preserved to be used for the rehabilitation of the existing Matimba power station ash dump, and possibly some of the Exxaro and Grootegeluk mine spoil dumps.
In terms of the agreement, Exxaro’s Grootegeluk mine, will, over the next 40 years, supply an average of 14,6-million tons of power-station-grade coal to Medupi every year. The coal to Medupi will be supplied through a brownfield expansion of the Grootegeluk mine with mining from the existing opencast pit continuing at an accelerated rate.
Eskom reports that the require- ment of skills development and localisation of people and resources is receiving significant focus from the utility, as well as from contractors. Further, plans are in place for contractors to provide training for the local people and the main civils contractor has established a training centre near the site.
In June, it was reported that the utility had about 850 contractor employees working on the project.
However, this number was set to increase over the duration of the roll-out of the civils work.
This expansion has neces- sitated detailed planning and rigorous health, safety and environmental practices in an effort to instil a safe-practice philosophy in all its workers.
The Medupi power station is the first power station that is being constructed as part of Eskom’s capacity expansion programme, which aims to increase the utility’s service offering to the public. It is the first baseload, coal-fired station to be built in South Africa in over 20 years and its delivery is viewed as critical, given that Eskom is currently operating at an uncomfortably low reserve margin of well below 10%.
Once Medupi reaches full capacity in 2016, its 4 800-MW generation capacity will provide the utility with a capacity increase which will be in excess of 10%.
The baseload plant will be made up of six 800-MW units and will be commissioned in phases.
Edited by: Laura Tyrer© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Top Projects News
State-owned passenger rail operator the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) R51-billion locomotive build programme, which is being carried out by black-empowered locomotive manufacturer Gibela Rail Consortium, will need about 1 375 skilled artisans to...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
This Week's Magazine
Training company The Intelligence Transfer Centre will host the fourth yearly Environmental Crimes Conference at the Indaba Hotel, in Fourways, Johannesburg between September 9 and 10. Confirmed key regulatory bodies that will attend the event include the Department...
The government of Egypt has said it is ready to provide technical assistance to Malawi in the development of the Shire–Zambezi waterway, which is designed to link landlocked Malawi to the Indian Ocean by opening the two rivers for navigation. Egyptian ambassador to...
Kenya is finally set to start building a new multipurpose petroleum pipeline, after securing a $350-loan from a consortium of banks, including South Africa's Rand Merchant Bank. The other banks in the consortium are the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, Citibank's Kenya...
Three-dimensional (3D) engineering design models can now be viewed on tablets, which enable stakeholders to view the design without having to buy the design software used to create it, says engineering design firm 3DDraughting executive Marais van Heerden. The...
Ford’s newest offering in a long list of newcomers to the local market in the last two years is the B-Max multi-activity vehicle (MAV). The B-Max will play in the so called B-MAV segment, or the small MAV segment, currently dominated by Toyota’s Avanza, which sells...