Rope-access specialist Skyriders is back on-site at the Kusile power station project in Nkangala, Mpumalanga after the recent easing of the lockdown restrictions to Level 3. The company has been sub-contracted since July 2012 to carry out work at height safety, bolting, rigging and painting, as well as the installation of piping and roof and side sheeting. Its main client is Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Kusile, near the existing Kendal power station, will comprise six 800 MW units for a combined capacity of 4 800 MW. Upon its completion in 2023, Kusile will be the fourth-largest coal-fired power station in the world. The project includes a power station precinct, power station buildings, administrative buildings, roads and a high-voltage yard.
Skyriders’ scope of work is all related to construction of the final three units, in addition to assisting with modifications on the completed units. “This is an excellent example of how rope access can be applied with equal success to new build as opposed to general maintenance,” comments Marketing Manager Mike Zinn.
The company has enjoyed a decades-long partnership with electricity utility Eskom, carrying out work at most of its 13 power stations. Here rope access is the ideal solution, as it provides efficient and quick access to high-elevation structures. It also enhances overall site safety during shutdown periods, and is far more cost-effective than traditional means of access such as scaffolding.