CoreSlab has been appointed by Elettronica Santerno South Africa to manufacture precast-concrete bases for two new utility-scale solar power stations that are being built in the Northern Cape under the fourth round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP).
CoreSlab was awarded the contract on the strength of its internal quality controls and long legacy designing and manufacturing innovative precast-concrete solutions for public- and private-sector clients. This is in addition to the company’s willingness to implement further measures at its factory to significantly raise traceability and quality assurance processes – a critical requirement for participation in these high-profile projects.
Elettronica Santerno South Africa is a subsidiary of the Italian Elettronica Santerno SpA. The company is in charge of design, construction, installation and commissioning of 34 inverter stations, as well as the associated supervisory control and data acquisition system on behalf of the engineer, procure and construct contractor of the two solar farms.
Luigi Guerra, country manager of Elettronica Santerno South Africa, says that all components used for its cutting-edge “plug-and-play” solution are critical and, therefore, undergo the same strict quality controls. Each base has been accurately manufactured according to the company’s exact design specifications. Importantly, they have been designed to ensure a tight fit to avoid water from entering in between the equipment and bases, as well as to restrict movement when they are being transported over long distances to and handled on site.
Openings at the bottom of the bases also need to accurately line up with the transformer oil-disposal points that have been established on site ahead of the arrival of the units, as well as to facilitate the connection of the stations with the medium-voltage (MV) and low-voltage (LV) cables laid down on site.
Jaco de Bruin, managing director of CoreSlab, describes complying with Elettronica Santerno’s high traceability and quality-assurance processes as a steep learning curve and lauds the company for its willingness to train and to assist his team wherever possible. Guerra compliments CoreSlab for the high quality of its workmanship and ability to meet due dates under a very strict delivery schedule, describing the precast-concrete bases as among the best that the company has used on its many other projects.