“Engineering firms need to offer master planning and integrated power supply solutions on the African continent, rather than focusing on one aspect of the energy supply chain,” said GIBB Chief Supervisor, Colin Logan.

“Promoting one particular technology tends to invite scepticism. When approaching business on the continent, it is important to sell responsible energy solutions that will work best for a particular situation. To do this the various divisions – hydropower and other renewable energy sources, along with nuclear and thermal energy- need to work together to find the best solution for every new scenario,” said Logan.

Logan’s insight comes from working on numerous hydropower projects for GIBB over the past 10 years, most notably in the role of Project Manager on the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, a Joint Venture (JV) with Knight Piésold and Royal Haskoning to supply detailed design, tender documentation, design monitoring and construction supervision. The rated generating capacity of the scheme is 1 334MW with an energy storage capacity of 21 000MWh.

Logan began working at GIBB in 2001 – initially in infrastructure and then in hydropower – and was transferred to the Ingula project as Deputy Project Manager in 2004. “I worked under Project Manager, Dr Robert Gibson, for two years and then under Australian Project Manager, Colin Gratwick from the United Kingdom, until early 2008 when I took over as Project Manager – on the recommendation of Gibson and Gratwick and with the support of the JV partners.”

With the design phase of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme coming to an end, Logan has handed over to a new Project Manager, who will focus on the commercial management of the JV’s services. Logan has moved on-site to take over the role of Chief Supervisor for the final stages and commissioning phase of the project, which is expected to be complete by late 2015/early 2016.

With about two years living in Ladysmith and supervising the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme on the cards for Logan, he hopes to then take his knowledge and skills in hydropower and energy production to the broader African market and further afield.

“I am passionate about these aspects of engineering and with my experience overseeing projects in Lesotho, Zambia, DRC and Nigeria, I believe I can make a significant contribution, especially from a master planning and integrated solutions point of view,” he said.

Logan’s long-term sights are set on becoming involved in international policy and promoting sustainable energy solutions. “I think I still need some more time in the trenches – building relationships, gaining in-depth exposure to international markets and trying to influence the way we go about developing sustainable energy solutions.”

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