400kV Transmission line spanning 89km’s – a significant achievement for Eskom and CONCO

A major milestone for the CONCO group is the three-year construction of a 400kV, 89 kilometre long transmission line for Eskom, stretching from Eros substation near Harding in KwaZulu-Natal, towards Vuyani substation in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. This major project was completed by CONCO and officially handed over to Eskom last year.

Eros Handover - David van Zyl & Bob Naraghi (Eskom)

Commenting on the success of the project, Sugan Naidoo (Eskom Project Engineer) says, “The CONCO relationship with Eskom was professionally handled with Eskom’s requirements being met in terms of delivering the project according to specifications. The contract management was executed with excellence.

“The handover was well received by Eskom for the first section of transmission line being built in the former Transkei area which is now part of the Eastern Cape,” said Mr Naidoo. “CONCO built 89 kilometres of the 167 kilometre 400kV line and considering this was CONCO’s first 400kV line construction project, its successful completion was a great achievement by the efforts of the project team and site workers.”

CONCO project engineer, Joseph Mahlangu says, “Effective stakeholder communication and project control integration which encompassed communication planning, applying best practised systems and controls, work structure, scheduling, reporting and adhering to the project plan, were key elements to the project’s success.”

This is the first 400kV line in the former Transkei area enabling a higher power transfer capability in the area. “400kV Lines transmit bulk power to feed a large number of customers and can power up a town,” says Mr Naidoo. “When the line is placed in commercial operation, the current power shortfall in the Mthatha area and surrounding towns will be relieved and will strengthen the network by supplying sufficient capacity to the area for economic growth.”

Eros/Vuyani handover ceremony

Commenting on the choice of equipment, Mr Naidoo says, “The steel lattice structures were used to carry a three phase, triple conductor bundle together with an earth wire and optical ground wire.  Some of the span lengths were greater than 1000 metres. Steel structures were used due to their durability and ability to carry the required mechanical loads.”

Approximately 400 people worked on the project over a three-year period. During that time, over 200 temporary employment opportunities were created in the local villages. CONCO also donated 200 desks, 100 chairs, a microscope and a projector, to Dudumeni High School in Flagstaff.

“The Eros/Vuyani project is a milestone for the CONCO group,” says Mr Mahlangu. “It’s the first 400kV project executed by CONCO and we have proved our ability to project manage, engineer and construct a transmission line of this dimension. We completed it on time, within budget and to the highest quality.”

For further information visit contact Joseph Mahlangu on +27 11 805 4281 or email joseph.mahlangu@concogrp.com.

Captions to photographs:

Top photo: CONCO CEO, David van Zyl (left), hands over a plaque to Eskom Executive Projects Manager, Bob Naraghi at the official handover.

Group photo: At the Eros/Vuyani handover ceremony from left: Alex Guy (Eskom Site Manager), Sugan Naidoo (Eskom Project Manager), Joseph Mahlangu (CONCO Project Engineer), and Reuben Schoeman (CONCO Site Manager).