BGAG PLAYS IMPORTANT ROLE IN FLAGSHIP MEDUPI POWER STATION PROJECT

Friday, March 13, 2015
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Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group (BGAG) has, since 2006, represented Eskom in connection with all construction related aspects of its new 4800MW, 6 Unit Coal Fired Medupi Power Station based in Lephalale, South Africa. This flagship energy project ranks as one of the largest dry-cooled power stations under construction worldwide (another being the Kusile Power Station, which BGAG is also acting on).

This flagship energy project ranks as one of the largest dry-cooled power stations under construction worldwide (another being the Kusile Power Station, which BGAG is also acting on).

On Monday last week, Unit 6 (the first Unit) of the Medupi Power Station reached a critical milestone: it produced and delivered power for the first time. “The technical term is “first synchronisation” or “first synch” which comprises the tie-in of the power station to the National Grid”, explained Rob Morson, Head of Construction at BGAG.

Unit 6 is capable of delivering just short of 800MW.  For first synchronisation, Eskom operates the Unit at a much lower output to be able to test the grid control and protection systems. This is done essentially by controlling and tripping the Unit at low production levels to avoid affecting the stability of the National Grid. Once these tests are completed, Eskom will then ramp the Unit to full load.

BGAG has played and continues to play an important role on this key national project.

“The media attention and public’s personal frustrations with load shedding aside, there is every reason to be very proud South Africans. This is the first major step towards restoring 100% stability to South Africa’s power supply”, Morson said. “It is still a long road but we all need to know and appreciate that we are well on that road and not waiting for it to magically appear before us.

“BGAG, and in particular, the construction (corporate and dispute resolution), regulatory, labour and banking & finance teams teams, are very proud to play a role as lead advisors to Eskom”.
The Medupi project is being constructed under multiple works contracts on an Owner (Eskom) managed basis.  BGAG’s involvement spans the procurement and execution stages of the various works packages (there are approximately 38 construction contracts) and encompasses the full spectrum of advice on the construction of the project.