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Transmission and Distribution  
2 December 2016

Eskom boosts network in Western Cape

On Thursday, South African state-owned power utility, Eskom, announced the commissioning of the Kappa-Sterrekus 765kV line.

The line, which was commissioned on Tuesday, 29th November 2016, is now connected to the 765kV network over and above the 400kV network, the parastatal said in a statement.

The utility highlighted that 765kV is one of the highest voltages used for electricity transfer in the world.

W.Cape network strengthened

This line connects Sterrekus 765kV substation through the 765kV network to the North.  The substation is equipped with all the latest switchgear and protection schemes.

Sterrekus will be the new hub for Transmission Western Grid, as it connects to Koeberg and other major substations in the Peninsula.

The 400kV network to the Western Cape was established in 1974 with only 2 lines from the North to the Western Cape. Subsequent to that a 3rd and a 4th in-feed was established.

This is the first major change to the Transmission network since 1974, giving the Western Cape a much-needed secure supply from the major power stations in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces, the power company noted.

Challenges experienced

The line between Kappa near Touwsrivier and Sterrekus posed severe challenges to the construction teams, as entry to some of the mountainous areas could only be achieved by helicopter.

Construction took place mostly by hand. It was also very difficult to obtain the servitude as the line had to cross the Ceres and Tulbagh Valleys and required extensive public and stakeholder engagement.

Praising their team of contractors, the utility said: "Eskom together with its contractors were able to accomplish this milestone in the face of these challenges and we are truly proud of this achievement."

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