CONCO Sebenza project a year on and well on track

March 2016 – CONCO has completed approximately 40% of the Sebenza substation project since work began at the end of 2014 following the awarding of the contract by City Power. The project entails the construction of a new 1000MVA, 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, “which is due to meticulous project planning, management and control. At present, we have completed all offsite 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 CONCO to respond swiftly to the dynamics of the project. In addition to our technical onsite team, we have appointed a SHEQ manager (Raymond Staines) solely dedicated to this project to oversee and ensure that all the subcontractors as well as CONCO staff adhere to the company’s high quality and safety standards. Thus far we have achieved 340 man-days without any lost time injuries which is worth mentioning considering the fact that at any one time, there are over 100 people working on the various sites.”

CONCO  Construction Manager Jan Ehlers explains, “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. 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. PSW/Nyeleti Consulting Engineers headed by Sarel Peens and Hein Schuld appointed a full time civil resident engineer, Japie Kotze, to ensure that civil work is carried out to the required standard and, where necessary, that adjustments to drawings are made in order to overcome challenges and therefore minimise expenditure,” says Ehlers.

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.”

“The project is on target,” says Mario Prasti, CONCO director of Special Projects, “and we have achieved results as planned. Our highly competent on-the-ground teams are to be commended for their quality of work and keeping to schedule and we expect continued good results from this next phase of the project.”

For further information on the Sebenza project, contact or call +27 11 805 4281.