South Africa, with a growing population of more than 50 million, is furthering ambitious plans to support economic growth and continued social development by investing in its energy infrastructure. This has resulted in the development of mega power projects and a push to accelerate knowledge transfer. Among the largest power generation projects in the world, the 4,800 MW Kusile Power Station includes significant planning and execution complexity not previously seen in the history of Africa’s energy infrastructure development.
The 6 x 800 MW supercritical coal-fired power station is located in Witbank, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. It is the first in South Africa to use advanced environmental flue gas desulfurization (FGD) air quality control (AQC) technology and air-cooled condensers. At peak execution, the project employs over 16,000 workers.
Black & Veatch is providing planning, engineering and design, construction management, contracts management, claims and procurement management, and health and safety management services as Eskom’s execution partner on the project. Working as an integrated team, they have shared global expertise and knowledge and implemented industry best practices across all areas of the project. The project has been recognized for a number of accomplishments including ISO Certifications 9001 and 14001.
Executing a project of this size and complexity requires tools that address the challenging schedule and dynamic conditions. By applying an innovative virtual 3-D plant model, Eskom and Black & Veatch have been able to unify multiple contractors’ project plans into one consistent model, aiding both design and construction. This effort was recognized with an international award for innovation in power generation. In addition to providing personnel resources,
Black & Veatch has also implemented multiple modules of its proprietary POWRTRAK® design tool to assist in the design of the Kusile Power Station.
A comprehensive and proven skills and knowledge transfer program developed by Black & Veatch is also being deployed to further the development of Eskom professionals. Experienced coaches work with protégés to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to execute future projects. The result is an empowered workforce with the necessary technical skills to plan, design, build, and operate and maintain future projects.
Black & Veatch also works closely with Eskom to meet its goals regarding the development of local labor resources and local supplier capacity. The project is making major social and civic contributions to support local communities through an extensive community social investment program involving all contractors on-site. Kusile will give tens of thousands of South Africans the opportunity for an improved quality of life through increased skills as well as availability of safe and reliable energy.
MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT
- Complexity is a natural component of a project of this magnitude. Construction is centered on 1,355 hectares (approximately 3,350 acres or over 5 square miles). At peak execution, the project employs over 16,000 workers on-site, and it takes 235 buses to shuttle them to and from work. There are more than 200 contractors on-site.
- Black & Veatch has designed the first coal-fired power station in South Africa to use the advanced environmental technology of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wet scrubbers and air-cooled condensers. This technology will ensure that a sustainable, cleaner source of baseload electric energy is available for South Africa and the African continent far into the future.
- Since the relationship began, Black & Veatch has shared its expertise with Eskom in not only fossil power generation but also renewable energy and water resource management. The company has brought innovation to the projects and has helped Eskom yield savings in its operations by sharing effective project management skill sets. Black & Veatch has also helped thousands of Eskom workers do their jobs safely.
- Black & Veatch also provided consulting services for renewables deployment and is supporting Eskom’s FGD programs and outage management work.
- The safety skills and knowledge transfer program at the Kusile Power Station includes Eskom employees who are being mentored by Black & Veatch experts in safety-focused best practices for power plant projects, from construction through commissioning. This program is helping ensure that the skills of Eskom’s workforce grow throughout this project and into the future.
"We partnered with Black & Veatch because it's a company with great minds and the credibility we need."
Frans Sithole, Project Director, Eskom