On Thursday, Eskom announced that it has energised and commissioned the second 500MVA power transformer at the newly built Ngwedi substation, bringing the total capacity to 1,000MVA.

This will provide improved flexibility and reliability of the network in South Africa’s platinum belt – the greater Rustenburg area, the utility highlighted in a statement.

Transformer marks big steps

This second transformer marks a significant step towards the completion of the Medupi Power Station Integration Project.

The first of the two transformers to be installed at Ngwedi substation was commissioned in December 2016.

The Medupi Integration Project is part of the large-scale power delivery projects aimed at supporting the grid system between the Limpopo and North West provinces.

Phase 2 of Medupi integration comprises the construction of two substations, Ngwedi in North West and Borutho in Limpopo, as well as the construction of transmission lines from Medupi Power Station to both substations, which will be interlinked with the rest of the grid, consisting of approximately 732km of high-voltage transmission lines and an additional 2,000MVA of transformation capacity.

“Ngwedi substation is required to provide for the expected load growth as a result of the developments in platinum mining operations taking place in the Rustenburg area, which, at present, cannot be supplied by the existing transmission and distribution networks. On completion, this substation will strengthen and provide capacity to the transmission and distribution networks in the area,” says Abram Masanga, Group Executive for Group Capital.

Infrastructure developments

According to the South African parastatal, they commenced with construction activities of this R500 million ($37 million) substation project in July 2014, and construction is still ongoing.

The work includes the construction of a main transmission substation (MTS) and associate transmission power lines, including the control building, telecommunications, and road infrastructure.

The utility explained that the substation will be a 400/132 kV step-down substation that will transform the 400 kV power to 132 kV, and it, therefore, links Ngwedi substation to the existing 132 kV distribution network in the area.

“The project has already created over 300 employment opportunities, for which over 100 persons have been employed from local communities. Locals have also been trained in various trades, including as pipe layers, shutter hands, building carpenters, earthworks hands, and builders. People from nearby villages closer to Sun City, such as Ledig, Chaneng, Mafenya, Rasimone, Robega, and Phatsima have also been employed,” Masango said.