South Africa utility names Impregilo to build 1,368-MW Ingula

South African utility Eskom has named Impregilo and CMC of Italy to build the 1,368-MW Ingula pumped-storage project on the border of South Africa’s Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.

Impregilo announced March 31 that it has a 40 percent interest in the construction consortium to build the 600 million euro (US$792.6 million) pumped-storage project in the Little Drakensberg Mountains near Ladysmith. Completion is scheduled for 2013.

Impregilo and its partners are responsible for underground civil works, including installation of pump-turbines, underground waterways, leveling shafts, penstocks, powerhouse and transformer caverns, access tunnels, and upper and lower reservoirs.

“This project is of great significance because it marks the group’s return to South Africa, a country with important development plans, where we have already operated for many years in the past,” Impregilo Chief Executive Alberto Rubegni said.

In September, Eskom named Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation to equip Ingula under a 140 million euro (US$184.9 million) contract. (HNN 9/3/08) Voith Hydro is to supply electro-mechanical equipment including four pump-turbines of 342 MW each, four motor-generators, and complete automation and control systems.

Ingula is to feature two dams, one forming a reservoir on Bedford Stream atop the Drakensberg escarpment and the other at the bottom at the Braamhoek River. The project includes water tunnels, an underground powerhouse complex, access tunnels, and access roads. Eskom already is carrying out tunnel excavation.

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