Africa’s major expanse of wind turbines en route to Loeriesfontein
The first of 1 098 wind turbine components are en route from the Port of Ngqura, 20 km north-east of Port Elizabeth, to Loeriesfontein, in the Northern Cape, which will soon become home to the largest expanse of wind turbines on the African continent, announced Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms on Monday.
The 122 wind turbines at Khobab and Loeriesfontein, which together span 6 653 ha, will produce a combined output of 280 MW – enough to power 240,000 average households a year, providing a significant boost to energy provision in South Africa.
Khobab Wind Farm project manager Kevin Foster said: “The operation will cover over 2.5-million kilometres and move an astounding 42 000 t of wind turbine components.”
Trucks with oversized trailers, in varying lengths of up to 57 m, would deliver the various components to the wind farms between April 2016 and August 2017.
On Monday, the tower sections were on a five-day journey of 1 396 km to Loeriesfontein on the N1 via Worcester, Laingsburg and Beaufort West. The 53-m-long blades, together with other components, would travel another 1 158 km along the N10 from the Port of Ngqura to Graaff-Reinet, Beaufort West and on to the site.
“We are pleased to be working with an experienced team who just recently successfully transported around 315 components across the country for Noupoort Wind Farm,” said Foster.
The wind turbines for the project were supplied by Siemens, while the transportation campaign was managed by DHL and ALE.
Most of the wind turbine tower sections were being manufactured by GRI Towers South Africa in Atlantis, Western Cape. The locally manufactured sections mean that Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms had been able to achieve local content commitments exceeding 40% of the project’s total value.