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Sebenza Substation under construction

The Sebenza substation project in Johannesburg is approximately 40% complete since work began at the end of 2014 following the awarding of the contract by City Power.

The Sebenza substation project in Johannesburg is approximately 40% complete since work began at the end of 2014 following the awarding of the contract by City Power.

The project was awarded to CONCO and entails the construction of a new 1000 MVA, 400/275/88kV bulk in-feed substation which will relieve the overloaded and aged Kelvin Power Station of a large portion of its existing load.

Upgrades and additions to Prospect substation and at Kelvin substation, the latter to include four sets of reactors and new switchgear on some of the main feeders, will all form part of this project.

“In just over a year, we have conquered a vast portion of this key multi-phase project,” says CONCO Senior Project Manager Thamie Nyembe, who attributes the progress to meticulous project planning, management and control.

“At present, we have completed all off site activities being the design, engineering and procurement and have taken delivery of approximately 95% of the equipment. Due to the size and nature of the project, it is being run from site enabling the firm to respond swiftly to the dynamics of the project,” Nyembe explains.

A multi-level/multi-disciplinary scheduler

The majority of the earthworks and civil work is complete as well as the construction of a three-storey GIS building that will house the 132kV GIS switchgear, as well as the protection, control and SCADA systems manufactured and supplied by CONCO Energy Solutions, notes the firm’s  Construction Manager Jan Ehlers.

“We are now entering the bulk of the installation and commissioning phase of the project where numerous major contractors will be on site, thereby requiring effective management. To ensure that this phase runs smoothly, we have implemented a multi-level/multi-disciplinary scheduler.

“Working closely and meeting frequently with City Power, our consulting engineers and contractors is a vital component of the project’s success as challenges are dealt with quickly and delays avoided,” says Ehlers.

Keeping the lights on

City Power’s Project Manager Godfrey Mulaudzi commented, “With City Power having undertaken this project, I am fully aware of the complexity and the pressure that the project will bring in terms of resources that need to be availed in the interest of service delivery.

“As we enter the installation and commissioning of apparatus into the grid, we still want to assure our customers of continuity of supply and minimum outages when necessary. All outages will be communicated to our customers in time. The success of this project has been purely through the support I am getting from our planning engineer Riaan Swanepoel and City Power senior management. Challenges will come, but our eyes will remain on the ball to achieve the project completion milestone.”

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