Superwatt, the Cape Town based Power Solutions company, has been awarded the contract for the standby power plant for Swakop Uranium’s HUSAB Project. The HUSAB Project Joint Venture, comprising AMEC, the international engineering and project Management Company, and Tenova Bateman, is a reimbursable contract for the engineering, procurement and construction management of Swakop Uranium’s HUSAB Project near Swakopmund in Namibia.
The HUSAB project is owned and operated by Swakop Uranium, a wholly-owned Namibian subsidiary of Taurus Minerals Limited, an entity owned by China General Nuclear and the China-Africa Development Fund.
Swakop Uranium’s HUSAB Project is the largest in-situ, and highest grade, granite-hosted uranium deposit in Namibia, and currently the third-largest uranium-only deposit in the world. The HUSAB uranium deposit is located approximately 45 kilometers northeast of Namibia’s main port, Walvis Bay, in the same area that holds several world-class uranium deposits and mines, including Rössing Uranium and the Langer Heinrich mine.
Based on a Definitive Feasibility Study, the HUSAB Project is being developed as a large-scale load-and-haul, open-pit mining operation, with ore from the mine feeding a conventional agitated acid leach process plant, at a rate of 15 million metric tons of ore per year. With anticipated annual production of approximately 15,5 million pounds of uranium, the HUSAB Project is set to become the second-largest uranium mine in the world.
Superwatt will be supplying the diesel standby power solution to the mine. The modular system comprises seven 2MVA prime power generators in combination with eight 4MVA step-up transformers. A single 33kV/14MVA cable will feed the emergency power to the mine’s substation. The project is offered as a complete turnkey solution and includes fuel and oil storage and filtration, a centralized generator control room for the system, and an interface with the mine’s information and control center. The generator control system will be integrated with the intake substation allowing automatic synchronization to the NAMPOWER grid at 33kV. The system will support either stand-alone operation; or run parallel in a “mains co-generation operation”. The latter mode has multiple uses which include peak power demand reduction; fixed power export per generator, testing or exercise runs; or on-demand load reduction.
Superwatt is becoming known in Africa as the turnkey solutions based supplier of modular platforms. Typical equipment includes containerized generator sets, step-up transformers for MV applications, MV switchgear, fuel storage tanks, pumps and filtration units, etc. Optical fiber interconnection is offered for bigger installations to ensure true electrical isolation between generators and also to guarantee 100% signal quality between the various controllers. Modularity is enhanced by the fact that the generators are designed to function either as single units, or as multiple units in parallel clusters without the need of external synchronising panels.
Superwatt is no newcomer to building Power Plants in Africa. In Namibia Superwatt has completed two contracts for Uramin Namibia (Pty) Ltd – part of the French nuclear giant Areva. Phase one was for a 6MVA synchronized solution providing the primary source of electrical power for the commissioning of the desalination plant about 30km north of Swakopmund. The second phase known as the Trekkopje Maxi Project, consisted of 9 generators, totaling some 12MVA and was completed in February 2012. This phase saw 4.5MVA of the 6MVA relocated from the desalination plant to the Uranium mine in addition to 6 new generators to increase the generation capacity to 12MVA prime. Approval was obtained from NAMPOWER to synchronize to their grid at 33kV. This functionality was subsequently added to the Trekkopje site, enabling the plant to export power to NAMPOWER on demand.
2014 has been a busy year for Superwatt, having been awarded significant contracts in Africa, with several new contracts in the pipeline.