September 15, 2021
  • September 15, 2021

Rope access to Ingula’s pumped storage system makes inspections easier

By on August 11, 2021 0
Ingula pumped storage system. Source: Eskom

Ingula’s pumped storage system in South Africa requires periodic inspection which requires rope access and standby rescue services in confined spaces.

The Ingula pumped storage system in the Little Drakensberg Escarpment in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) consists of an upper dam and a lower dam, each of which can hold approximately 22 million cubic meters of water. The two dams are 4.6 km apart and are linked by underground waterways that cross an underground power plant with four 333 MW generators.

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To generate electricity during peak demand periods, water is released from the upper dam, passing through the pump and turbines in the lower dam. During times of reduced energy demand, water is pumped from the lower back to the upper dam.

Skyriders provided rope access and emergency confined space rescue to Ingula’s pumped storage system to KZN Province.

Periodic inspection of the four units by teams specializing in structure, civil engineering or mechanics requires rope access and emergency rescue in a confined space. Both of these services were provided by rope access specialist Skyriders after securing a contract for all four units in 2020, according to company marketing director Mike Zinn.

The fact that the structural, civil engineering or mechanical specialists themselves may not necessarily have experience in the field of rope access means that some of the most skilled and experienced technicians in the world organization will be deployed to provide the necessary assistance and access.

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Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, location of the site declared a nature reserve

Describing Ingula as one of the most challenging industrial environments Skyriders has been involved in to date, Zinn adds that the contract was a significant extension of the inspection, repair and access work Skyriders performed for the electricity utility. Eskom over the years to most of its fleet of power plants.

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