Construction to continue at Kathu
Engineering News|December 16, 2016

Next year, global engineering and technology company Sener will continue to provide the engineering, procurement and construction services for the 100 MW Kathu concentrated solar power (CSP) project in South Africa’s Northern Cape, in conjunction with its joint venture partner Acciona.

Victor Moolman

Construction commenced in May and is due for completion at the end of 2018. The work includes installations of electrical and mechanical components for all of the reflective mirrors and the central power processing plant.

Sener regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa says most of the key components of the solar field, such as pylons, solar collector elements, torque tubes and arms, will be manufactured, galvanised, supplied and erected in 2017, with most of the manufacturing taking place in South Africa.

The solar field for this project is approximately 375 ha in size and has a total of 12 500 piles, over 500 000 m 3 of cut and 600 000 m 3 of fill of earthworks. Sener provides the technology for the solar field, which consists of parabolic mirrors that reflect sunrays and concentrates them into a receiver – a specific tube with good heat absorptivity properties – through which a fluid passes, he explains.

Mbanjwa outlines that the power plant’s system works by the heat-transfer fluid transmitting the generated heat either into the molten salts thermal storage system or directly into the steam power generation system. This enables the molten salts thermal storage system to store enough energy to maintain the turbine for five hours while working at full load.

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