Electrical energy provided by temporary power plants can boost the electricity generation of not only conventional power sources as they are being maintained or constructed, but also renewable-energy sources as they are being stabilised and enhanced.
There is, therefore, substantial potential for the temporary power industry to provide electricity generation in Southern Africa, affirms temporary solutions provider Altaaqa Global.
Subsequently, there is an aggressive drive in the region to refurbish conventional or permanent power plants and to construct renewable power sources in key areas, highlights Altaaqa Global CAT Rental Power marketing manager Robert Bagatsing.
He adds that temporary power plants can assist other energy sources while these sources are being enhanced to better serve Southern Africa, further pointing out that permanent, or conventional, power plants might take decades to construct and commission, owing to the many details and stages involved.
“As Southern Africa progresses into economic stability, with maintained buoyancy, the different sources of energy, be it temporary, renewable or conventional, will play a role in the region’s development and growth.”
Bagatsing also highlights that temporary power plants can be used in various situations, such as during planned or unplanned shutdowns of permanent power plants, natural disasters, unforeseen demand spikes, grid optimisation, load-shedding, rural electrification and the enhancement of renewable power sources, as well as peak lopping.
Use is made of an additional power source in synchronisation with a mains power supply to deliver enough power to meet peak demand that cannot be met by the mains supply. Moreover, temporary large-scale power plants can be used for several months to avoid power interruptions and to ensure that critical areas, such as airports, data centres or hospitals, have electricity supply.
Altaaqa Global is working on a project in Douala, Cameroon, which involves generators running on ecofriendly, natural gas. The company is using equipment that is cost efficient and environment friendly for the natural gas temporary power plant, Bagatsing says.
The project, which is being completed in collaboration with Cameroon’s power utility company Eneo, power generator gas provider Gaz du Cameroun and its parent company African energy supplier Victoria Oil & Gas, involves the construction of two rental power plants. Once completed, the power plants will provide a sustainable and reliable source of electricity for the country, he says.
Bagatsing further highlights one of Altaaqa Global’s ecofriendly offerings, which is the XQ1475G power generator, and which uses a G3516C island-mode, compact and four-stroke-cycle gas engine.
“These generators meet most worldwide emission requirements, which require 250 mg/Nm3 of mononitrogen oxides, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide levels without aftertreatment. The equipment is perfect for projects where low emissions, a fast setup and reliable operation are critical,” Bagatsing stresses.
He adds that, through its work with fuel suppliers and power companies in various countries, Altaaqa Global presents a business case model for all power utilities in Africa, which Bagatsing believes is a viable solution with significant socioeconomic impact.
He further emphasises clients’ need for equipment efficiency, reliability and durability, noting their keenness for the environment-friendly qualities of the natural-powered generators. Clients also scout for providers that offer real-time after-sales service.
“Moreover, because one of the foremost problems facing remote areas is the lack of power transmission and distribution infrastructure, Altaaqa Global concentrates its research and development (R&D) efforts on developing products that mitigate this challenge.
“As a result, no matter how far-flung an area is, regardless of power infrastructure being present or absent, Altaaqa Global can provide the appropriate solution,” Bagatsing states.
He adds that, as the drive for electrification, operational flexibility and environmental stewardship becomes more challenging, Altaaqa Global has also concentrated its R&D efforts on creating products that will set new standards in the energy industry.
These include the fleet power generators that can connect directly to the grid and do not need substations, and flexible power solutions to support the baseload, as well as intermediate, peak or standby power generation.
“We can change the operational mode from island mode to grid mode to standby power mode, and we can provide generators that operate on gas and dual fuel, comprising 70% gas and 30% diesel,” Bagatsing concludes.