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Introduction Issue 1 December 2007 The Ingula Update aims to keep you abreast of the project progress, local social upliftment initiatives and more importantly, share the meticulous care Eskom is undertaking to preserve the environment within the new power Key Projects station boundary. This includes the partnership it has established with BirdLife South Africa and the Middlepunt Wetland Trust. Road works The Generation Communication team will distribute the newsletter monthly to The contract for the building of ensure our readers receive the latest news. Contact us by sending an email to 67 km of roads was awarded to firstname.lastname@example.org or 036 631 0372 ext. 4057. Grinaker LTA. This two year project began in January and is scheduled for completion at the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme end of 2008. Visible progress has already been made with the tarring of certain sections. A pumped storage scheme needs suitable dam sites relatively close together, but at significant altitudinal difference, suitable geology and Civil works Km available water. A 9000 ha site north east of Van Reenen’s Pass has been selected. It span’s the escarpment of the Little Drakensberg, straddling the provincial boundary of the Free State near to Harrismith and KwaZulu Natal, near to Ladysmith. The building of 1.2 km Exploratory Tunnel by Murray The Scheme and Roberts began in 2005 and The scheme consists of an upper dam Bedford and a lower dam Braamhoek, was completed in June 2007. both boasting approximately 22 million cubic metres water capacity. The The Main Access Tunnel dams, 4.6 km apart, are connected by underground waterways, through an contract was awarded to CMC underground powerhouse, which house 4 x 333MW pump turbines. Mavundla, a consortium of South African and Italian companies. Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme Work has already begun and is scheduled for completion in 2009. ~350m Infrastructure B & E Quanza group has been awarded the contract for quarry During times of peak energy consumption, water will be released from the upper dam through and work is already underway the pump turbines to the lower dam to generate electricity. During times of low energy demand with primary and secondary the pump turbines are used to pump the water from the lower dam back up to the upper dam. crushers are now fully operational. Sub-base material The project is scheduled to come on line during 2012, with a unit being has been crushed and applied commissioned each quarter of that year. The construction and upgrade of the on the quarry internal roads. roads is currently underway and scheduled to be complete by the end of 2008, by which time both the main civil works and electromechanical plant contracts Afriscan has been awarded will be in progress. contracts for water supply, sewage treatment, small access roads and building of temporary Eskom is working in conjunction with various contractors and consultants to Eskom offices. manage the project. A small team of Eskom personnel are on site and it is expected that approximately 500 of total workforce of 2500 people will be on site during the peak construction period. History behind the name Ingula Key Projects ……. The name change from Project Hotel to Braamhoek to Ingula was officially announced in March 2007. The name may have come as a Conservation comment that the water from this river tasted or satisfied much like The Eskom site will be managed soothing milk. This name Ingula power station was inspired by the as a conservation site, and with mountains and the river waters, which represent the rich cultural symbols the cooperation of landowners in and traditions of the indigenous people on both sides of the border. Ingula the district, may form the core of alludes to the creamy contents that floats to the top of the milk calabash. It a larger conservation area is an opportune stroke of coincidence that mountains and water have root conserving the moist high in the scientific and physical challenges of this new Eskom Pumped grasslands of the eastern Free Storage Scheme. State and northern KwaZulu Natal. Partnership with BirdLife South Africa & Middlepunt Wetland Trust Birdlife: More than 200 species of birds have already been The partnership sighted at Ingula. One of these senior managers being the Wattled Crane which is visited the site to amongst the top five endangered see results of years birds in terms of regulations of strategic planning issued in the National Biodiversity Act. The partnership between BirdLife South Africa (BLSA), Eskom and the Wildlife: The threatened Oribi occurs on site, and grey rhebok Middlepunt Wetland Trust (MWT) launched in March 2004 is aimed at and steenbok are also present. generating benefits at international, national, regional and local levels to Historically, the site has been offset the negative impacts of the construction and operation of the heavily utilised by livestock and pumped storage scheme. This will be done effectively by managing large tracts of erosion can be environmental impacts and projects relating to the area impacted by the seen. Livestock numbers have scheme. been reduced, and eroded areas will be rehabilitated. The area Site Visits has also been subject to high intensity poaching and illegal plant harvesting. Through the development of a protected area, it is hoped to increase numbers of animals on site, and to in a secure environment, establish viable populations. A reduction in Tim Gaskell is the Ingula Peter Nelson Ingula Conservation Manager unsustainable activities will Project Manager points out the challenges facing this project improve general conditions on to Ehud Matya (MD, Generation) site. Mid year the Project Manager conducted a site visit of the scheme for the Wetlands: Wetlands on the Generation Managing Director accompanied by the Generation Divisional property serve as continual Client office personnel and Generation Communication for progress supply water to the Wilge River, update on the project. and springs flow throughout the year. The wetland system is host Ingula Progress welcomed by Ladysmith Mayor to a variety of species, and is in need of protection following years On the 17th August 2007 the Mayor of of overgrazing and inappropriate Ladysmith, Councillor DCP Mazibuko burning. The formal conservation visited the scheme. She was of the Wilge River and associated accompanied by the Deputy Mayor, wetlands will be explored in municipal Executive Committee, conjunction with the Free State Heads of Department and Dept of Tourism, Environmental councillors. The honourable mayor and Economic Affairs. welcomed the progress of the project. Rehabilitation done in the past will be continued and the “The impact of this project on tourism alone is major and sustainable. We sustainable functioning of the are likely to get thousands of tourists that will book for accommodation in wetlands ensured. our bed and breakfast lodges and buy in our shops” she commented.
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