Turbine components arrive at Van Stadens wind farm

Business Reporter

THE massive components for nine wind turbines destined for the R475- million Metrowind Van Stadens wind farm are being transported from the Port of Ngqura to the site near Blue Horizon Bay since last week.

The components have been kept secure within the Port of Ngqura since their arrival in two shipments from China on June 5. In the meantime, the lead engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project, Basil Read Matomo, has been completing civil works on site.

The company has been working at the site since November 15 last year to complete the roads and turbine platforms for the arrival of the turbine components over the next few weeks.

The director of energy at Basil Read Matomo, Marius von Wielligh, said erection of the turbines would begin later this month and that their installation should be completed by October.

“The arrival of the first shipload of turbines is a significant milestone for the project,” Von Wielligh said.

“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 authorities and community, we will excel at this task,” he said. The components follow two transport routes – one for the nine nacelles (a cover that houses all the generating components within a wind turbine – including the generator, gearbox, drive train, and brake assembly) and a separate route for the 27 blades and nine towers.

Projects director Ken Dyamond said the blades and tower sections were being transported along the N2 freeway on a 64m-long truck and trailer. “The nacelles weigh in at a mammoth 120 tons and, given both the weight and size of the hubs, the parts need to be transported along a less congested route through Uitenhage and Motherwell from Coega,” he said.

The 27MW wind farm is expected to produce enough electricity for 5000 to 6000 households a year.

The wind farm, which is due to start generating power by February next year, is one of eight wind energy independent power producers that were authorised in the first round of the renewable energy independent power producers procurement programme in December 2011.

A total of 67% of the national wind projects will be based in the Eastern Cape, with an investment value of R18.1-billion.

Government aims to generate 17800MW of renewable energy by 2030. Of this, 8400MW is to be generated from wind renewable energy sources.

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