Construction has begun on the 4.5MW Stortemelk Hydropower Plant in Free State, South Africa. Aurecon Engineering Company was appointed as the service providers for the project on matters to do with engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM). Construction work on the Stortemelk Hydropower Plant is scheduled for completion mid 2016.
According to Aurecon, the Stortemelk hydropower plant will be constructed between two dams and this will not affect their operations or stability. However, the construction project will involve deep excavations through Botterkloof dam and Boston A dam spillways.
There will also be the installation of a vertical Kaplan turbine at Botterkloof dam on Ash River. Optimization of the short penstock route will help prevent the endangerment of the structures that are already in place.
The Project Director for Aurecon Bertrand Rochecouste Collet noted that this is the first time South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has used an EPCM contractual structure.
Initially the project had been assigned to Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) subsidiary NuPlanet before it came to a halt after Stortemelk Hydropower plant, a special purpose vehicle owned by REH came to a financial halt. There have been an announcement recently that the country will get US$20 million International Development Association (IDA) grant to fund large-scale sustainable energy projects.