Component transport for Metrowind van Stadens begins
Engineering and construction prowess will soon be displayed in the Eastern Cape as the first of 10 wind farms in the province begins construction led by Basil Read Matomo at the Metrowind Van Stadens wind farm near Port Elizabeth.
Transport of the components for the nine wind turbines began last week and will continue through this week as nine nacelles, 27 blades and nine towers make their way on a 57-kilometre journey from the Port of Ngqura to the site.
Basil Read Matomo was awarded the R475-million contract as the lead engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and moved onto site on November 15 last year.
The wind turbine components have been secured at a laydown area within the Port of Ngqura since two shipments arrived from China on June 5 and 11 and the wind farm is due to start generating power by February 2014.
"The arrival of the first shipload of turbines is a significant milestone for the project. Transporting the turbines to the wind farm site is challenging, but I am confident that with our team of experts, and the support of the local authorities and community, we will excel at this task," said Marius von Wielligh, Director of Energy at Basil Read Matomo.
The Metrowind Van Stadens wind farm would be the first to come online as one of eight wind energy Independent Power Producers (IPPs) authorised in the first round of the Department of Energy's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) in December 2011.
Basil Read Matomo has almost completed the civil works on site, with the roads and turbine platforms ready for arrival of the turbine components over the next few weeks.
"The blades need to be transported on a 64 metre long truck and trailer, given their length, and are rotated at optimal angle so that they can fit under the bridges along the route," said Ken Dyamond, Director of Projects at Basil Read Matomo, adding that the towers were split into four sections for transport.
There are also two transport routes, one for the nacelles and one for the blades and towers: "The nacelles weigh in at a mammoth 120 tons and given both the weight and the size of the hubs, the parts needed to be transported via a less congested route through Uitenhage/Motherwell from the Coega Industrial development Zone to the site."
The blades and tower sections are being transported on the N2 freeway, the more direct route. Upon arrival at their Van Stadens destination, temporary road closures will be in effect daily at Blue Horizon Bay as components move towards site.
Turbine erection will begin mid-July and Basil Read Matomo have confirmed that the turbine installation will be complete by October.
The 27 megawatt (MW) Metrowind Van Stadens wind farm will comprise of nine Sinovel SL3000 3MW turbines and is expected to produce 80 000MWh per year. âThis means that enough electricity for 5000-6000 households will be generated contributing 10% to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipalityâs renewable energy target,â added Rubicept Director, Ian Curry. The company also said that six local communities would benefit from job creation during the construction phase.
The Eastern Cape is set to become a leading wind and renewable energy hub in an effort to assist Department of Energy meet its procurement objectives of 3 725 MW of renewable energy. Major wind farm developments in the province include, amongst others, the Dorper Wind Farm near Molteno and three major projects planned for the Coega Industrial Development Zone. A total of 67% of the national wind projects will be based in the Eastern Cape with an investment value of R18.1-billion. South Africa has a high level of renewable energy potential and the government aims to generate 17 800 MW of renewable energy by 2030. Of this, 8 400 MW is to be generated from wind renewable energy sources.