The estimated R140-million upgrades to Mogale City local municipality’s Condale substation, in Gauteng, are on track and due for completion in early 2015, consulting engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV says.
The Condale substation, which is the only main infeed substation for the entire Mogale City, was built over 60 years ago, and needed an upgrade to accommodate the increasing population of the city. The upgrade will ensure stable electricity supply capacity for the expanding community, while accommodating the proposed new State-owned power utility Eskom’s infeed transformer.
Mogale City municipality awarded the contract to Royal HaskoningDHV in October 2012. The project includes the supply, delivery, offloading, installation, erection and commissioning of all materials and equipment, including all related cable, steel, civil and other works required to make the substation fully functional.
“The current equipment fault rating of 15 kA is being upgraded to 25 kA; improved control and protection systems, incorporating the latest technology, are also being installed,” notes Royal HaskoningDHV design and project manager Thys van Rooyen.
Van Rooyen cites various challenges during the upgrading and construction programme.
“One of the challenges is that the whole substation is being rebuilt under live yard conditions, which makes it dangerous,” he says, simultaneously stressing that safety is paramount. The substation currently operates at full capacity.
Another challenge includes the high electricity demand during winter, as this has to be taken into consideration when planning the switchover to the new system, with backups having to be in place, he notes.