Construction Progresses On South Africa's Phezukomoya Wind Farm

The wind farm forms part of the 420MW Koruson One development.

By Liz Bains on
29th August 2023

Construction of the 140MW Phezukomoya wind farm near Noupoort on the boundary of the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape provinces in South Africa is making good progress.

The facility forms part of the 420MW Koruson One project which is being developed under bid window five of South Africa’s Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) by a consortium comprising EDF Renewables (South Africa), H1 Capital and Gibb Crede.

The local Concor, in partnership with Murray & Roberts OptiPower, is the contractor for the Phezukomoya wind farm. The team were awarded construction contracts for the Koruson main transmission station, as well as two of the three wind farms comprising the Koruson One development.

According to Marritus Bezuidenhout, project manager, Concor, establishing access routes to the mountaintops, where the wind turbine foundations and hardstands are being constructed, has been a challenge due to the rocky terrain which required extensive blasting and clearing work.

But as of late August, blasting had been completed on 22 of the 26 foundations for the turbines, 15 out of the 26 foundations had been excavated, and concrete blinding had been cast on 12. Bottom slabs have also been completed on nine and reinforcing has been done on six.

The Phezukomoya wind farm is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2024.

According to Concor, one notable aspect of the Phezukomoya project is the use of hollow foundations, which the firm says is a first for a wind farm in South Africa. 

Concor says hollow foundations offer several advantages, including a reduced carbon footprint due to the use of less readymix concrete. The hollow design also allows for the inclusion of ducts and facilitates post-tensioning of cables for the tower, and installation of the power cables to the electrical reticulation network. 

“However, constructing hollow foundations is more labour intensive, requiring additional formwork as well as more steel reinforcing. It also requires precision work by the steel fixing teams to ensure the stringent tolerances are met,” commented Bezuidenhout.

Winter weather poses another challenge for the construction team. With temperatures often falling below 5°C, the casting of readymix concrete needs to be carefully managed: heat pumps are used at the batch plant while strict scheduling and control of concrete casting is implemented. Thermal blankets are also used during the curing process.

Preparing for binding

To date, Concor has delivered the civil balance of plant on more than 10 wind farms in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape regions of South Africa.

The two other wind farms being built under the Koruson One development are the San Kraal and Coleskop facilities. 

Top photo: Installation of the foundation template at Phezukomoya (Source: Concor)

Bottom photo: Preparing for binding at Phezukomoya (Source: Concor)

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