Aug 2016 2nd Edition

Ingula brings jobs and electricity

Written by Neo Semono
President Jacob Zuma and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown during a tour of Ingula Power Pump Storage Scheme in Ladysmith.South Africa needs well-maintained infrastructure in order to ensure a steady supply of electricity. For this purpose, government has invested in a massive infrastructure development programme that is already contributing to Eskom’s capacity.

Ingula will be Africa’s newest and largest pumped storage scheme.
“Ingula represents a legacy of a democratic South Africa. It supports economic growth and development of the country and ensures electricity supply and diversifies our energy mix,” President Zuma said at the commercialisation of the station’s units in Ladysmith recently.

Ingula’s Unit 4 came into commercial operation in June 2016, six months ahead of schedule.

Unit 4 is the first of Ingula’s four units to come into commercial operation. The other three units were synchronised ahead of schedule and are on track for commercial operation within the first half of 2017.

After construction and commissioning a unit is synchronised. This means the unit is connected to the electricity grid for the first time.

After synchronisation, further testing takes place to ensure the unit’s safety and reliability. The unit is then declared commercial.

Ingula Unit 4 was commissioned in winter, which contributed to the stability of the electricity-supply system. No load-shedding occurred this winter.

On completion, the power station will feed more than 1 300 megawatts to South Africa’s power system. This will bring electricity power and a new quality of life to approximately 500 000 homes, which is similar to powering a municipality the size of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan City. The plant has injected R3.5 billion into the local economies in the Free State and in KZN.

It has also created thousands of jobs with 55 percent of the total labour force having been recruited from local communities and municipalities in those provinces.

“It is also very important to us that the Ingula Power Pump Storage Scheme is moving South Africa a step closer to government’s dream of extending
electricity to all South
African households.

“Access to electricity improves the quality of life of our people. We will never rest until all our people have access to water and electricity, no matter how long it takes,” said President Zuma.

The President toured the plant located on the cross-border of the Free State and KZN.

South Africa, he noted, had come a long way since the dark days of load-shedding. 

“Today as South Africans we stand tall and proud as we register further progress in our quest for energy security,” he said.

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