POWER SUPPLY: Cape Town Earmarks R900m For Electricity
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The City of Cape Town has earmarked almost R900 million to upgrade the metropole’s electricity network in the coming financial year. This forms part of the R5,5 billion capital budget proposed for 2009/10.
Cape Town’s electricity infrastructure consists of more than 70 main substations with transformers and switchgear, as well as thousands of kilometres of electrical cables criss-crossing the city from Atlantis and Gordon’s Bay, right down to Cape Point.
The electricity budget includes upgrades of main substations such as Retreat (R60 million), Rosmead Avenue (R52 million), Strand (R42 million), Roggebaai (R24 million), Parow South (R21 million) and at Langeberg in the northern suburbs (R18 million).
According to Alderman Ian Neilson, Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Economic & Social Development and Tourism, the City cannot allow a second Eskom crisis to occur by waiting for equipment to fail before replacing it.
“We pro-actively implement a maintenance and replacement programme in order to facilitate economic development and create jobs,” says Ald Neilson.
Last year the City spent R350 million on the new Roggebaai substation to augment power supply to the entire Central Business District (CBD) and the Atlantic seaboard for the next 15 years.
This year capacity at the Retreat main substation will be increased by replacing the underground cables, two high capacity power transformers and associated switchgear.
“The Retreat substation, built 40 years ago, provides electricity to Meadowridge, Bergvliet, Diep River, Constantia, Heathfield, Retreat and Tokai. The energy reinforcement project will provide additional capacity for further development until 2025,” says Ald Clive Justus, Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services.
“These upgrades will reduce the risk of power failures. The City constantly monitors the state of all its electricity plants to determine their condition and the loads they can carry. An analysis of this data has shown that the equipment is ageing and reaching the end of its useful life,” Ald Justus says.
The Strand substation upgrade will increase the load capacity in the Strand, portions of Somerset West, Nomzamo, Lwandle, Broadlands and Somerset West. Upgrading Langeberg substation will ensure additional capacity in the Cape Gate, Kleinbron, Vredekloof and Langeberg Ridge areas.
The Rosmead upgrade will improve electricity supply to Claremont, Kenilworth and the Lansdowne area, whilst the Parow South upgrade, which feeds into the Parow industrial areas as well as Ravensmead, Parow Valley and Beaconvale areas, will provide additional capacity for industrial growth.
“All the transformers have been ordered and the switchgear has been put out on tender. Work will start shortly and should be completed by June 2010.
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