Engineering solutions provider ELB Engineering Services says that its conveyors moved the first coal to the mill bunkers of Boiler 6 at the Medupi power station, in Lephalale, Limpopo, last month.
ELB Medupi project manager Hertzog Verhoef says the coal to bunker process started on October 15, when coal was conveyed from the mine to the south 1 000 t silo.
“A month later, on November 17, the green light was given to convey first coal into the mill bunkers. Boiler 6 will be the first of the six boilers to be commissioned at Medupi,” he explained.
ELB was contracted in 2010 to supply the terrace ash and coal conveyor systems to the multibillion-rand power station that is being constructed to alleviate South Africa’s power generation shortages.
Verhoef details that, among others, ELB’s contract, which is being carried out in six phases for six boiler units, involves the supply and installation of 54 conveyors of varying lengths, from 24 m to 733 m, and handling tonnages between 22 tons per hour (tph) and 2 100 tph.
Phase 1 of the contract covers the design, procurement, delivery, installation and commissioning of the system, including conveyors and transfer houses; moving coal from the first of the two 1 000 t silos to the power station’s Unit 6 coal bunkers; and conveying ash to the ash emergency offloading and reclaiming facility.
“Among some of the significant additional work subsequently awarded is the terracing of the 16 000 m2 emergency ash offloading area and a major road culvert,” Verhoef adds.
Phases 2 to 6 of ELB’s work involves extending the existing Phase 1 ash and coal conveyor systems and providing new conveyors for removal of ash and delivery of the coal to the bunkers at units 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1.
He highlights that, for Phase 4, ELB’s scope of work includes the supply of a duplication of Phase 1’s inclined conveyors to feed coal to units 1, 2 and 3. A 1 200 tph fixed boom stacker and a 500 tph scraper reclaimer, which has a boom of 22 m, have been supplied for the emergency ash offloading area in partnership with ELB’s technology partner, FAM.
“The materials handling system calls for a number of special design features to maintain the efficiency of the coal and ash handling system, particularly as ash is a difficult material to handle, and for environmental protection of the surrounding area.
“Another ELB technology partner, Australia-based company Tasman Warajay, which boasts extensive experience in transfer chute design across the world, has designed the coal and ash guided flow transfer chutes,” Verhoef elaborates.
He explains that ELB’s in-house erection company, ELB Construction (ELB Con), is carrying out construction of the project, which he says offers the project a number of benefits and results in the reduced project risk profile during the construction phase.
Verhoef says this enables ELB to have tight control over costing and scheduling.
Verhoef tells Engineering News that the company has completed the installation of 18 conveyors at Unit 6. He says ELB and ELB Con have started work on the remainder of the 54 conveyors in the remaining five units, as areas become available.
“The Medupi power station is one of the [highest] profile projects currently under way in South Africa, as it is the country’s first new greenfield coal-fired power station in more than two decades. With a capacity of 4 800 MW by the time its last unit is commissioned, it will be the largest dry-cooled power station internationally,” states Verhoef.
He adds that ELB is an internationally recognised, technology-driven holistic solutions provider to the mining, power, port, construction and industrial sectors in the field of materials handling and beneficiation plants.
“This is achieved through ELB-generated innovation, supply of equipment and technology from our world-class partners, in-house developed expertise and integration of the services and products from the ELB group of companies,” Verhoef concludes.