South Africa’s Braamhoek pumped-storage becomes 1,333-MW Ingula

South Africa utility Eskom Holdings Ltd. renamed four power projects March 20, including the 1,333-MW Braamhoek pumped-storage project, indicating the plants have progressed sufficiently and received required authorizations.

Braamhoek, which has been in the process of development tendering, has been referred to formally by Eskom under the �code name� Project Hotel. Eskom declared its new name to be the Ingula power station.

�The name Ingula alludes to the creamy contents at the top of the milk calabash� or gourd, an Eskom statement said.

All four projects were changed from code names to names that directly reflect the cultural heritage of the project areas: 4,200-MW coal-fired Project Alpha becomes Medupi; two Project OGCT combustion turbine stations totaling 1,050 MW become Ankerlig and Gourikwa.

Ingula is under construction in the Little Drakensberg Mountains northeast of Van Reenen. In December, Eskom took applications for pre-qualification for three civil works contracts. (HNN 2/20/07)

All four power stations are part of Eskom’s �new build� program to meet South Africa’s growing power needs. The utility said March 15 it approved an increase in its five-year spending on new projects to 150 billion rand (US$20.17 billion) from 97 billion rand (US$13 billion).

The investment is meant to meet the electricity needs generated by South Africa’s rapid economic growth, and will nearly double the megawatts that Eskom had previously intended, the company said. Under the revised plan, which would cover the period from April 2007 to 2011-2012, Eskom now is to deliver an additional 22,000 MW against the previous target of 12,500 MW.

Generation projects will take up about 72 percent of the 150 billion rand, and transmission projects about 12 percent. The rest of the funds will be used for improvements to Eskom’s distribution network, coal supply lines, and other projects to diversify the firm’s energy mix, Eskom said.

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