Faulty Kragga Kamma substation means no load shedding for residents

JULY 8, 2015

The residents of Sunridge Park, Fernglen, Cotswold, Westering, Framesby, Linton Grange, Kabega, Taybank, Morningside and Vikingvale are probably the lucky ones during these times of continual load shedding.

According to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, these residents are currently spared from load shedding because the Kragga Kamma substation – which feeds their areas, cannot be switched off and on when Eskom implements load shedding due to the age of the substation.

“On 6 October 2014, a fault occurred at the Kragga Kamma substation in that the 66kV bushings on transformer No 2 failed, which rendered the transformer in-operational,” the municipality told a local paper.

“New bushings had to be ordered (and manufactured) for the transformer, since these types of spares, in particular for older (transformers (1964 in the instance of this transformer), are not readily available. The Kragga Kamma substation operates on two similar transformers, with one transformer being able to sufficiently carry the load of the areas fed by the substation.”

It said that when the latest load shedding began in late 2014, the decision not to shed the Kragga Kamma loads was partly taken on the basis that the substation is now fed only by means of one transformer, which places a high risk on the integrity of the substation.

“This Directorate does not carry spare transformers of this magnitude in its fleet or any spares for the older type of transformers. Transformers cost approximately R12 million each.

“In addition to the above, the switchgear housed inside the substation to supply the outgoing circuits is old and of the oil-insulated type and not remotely controlled. In addition to the above, spares for these types of switchgear are not readily available due to age (1955!),” the municipality said.

“This places the switching operators at risk when undertaking switching operations at the substation, in that it is required that they need to switch the circuit breakers manually inside the substation, subjecting them to any risks associated with such switching operations.

“New switchgear for both the 6,6 and 22kV switch panels has been ordered and delivered and it is the intention to install these two switch panels in the second quarter of 2016, following the installation of switchgear at our Brickmakerskloof substation, which has already commenced.”

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality explained the delay in undertaking this work at Kragga Kamma substation as due to the fact that the Directorate has purchased two containerized switch panels, which will be used as an alternate method of supplying the outgoing circuits while the replacement of the switchgear commences so as to prevent unnecessary outages to consumers.

These are presently being utilised for the Brickmakerskloof substation refurbishment programme.

“The costs for the purchasing and the installation of the switchgear at the Kragga Kamma substation is R10 761 829 and R2 400 000 respectively,” it said.

Previously, the municipality also said some residents will not experience load shedding even when the grid is teetering on the brink of collapse because they are connected to the same line that feeds hospitals and major industrial areas, which are not affected by Loadshedding.

Read more on this: SOLVED: WHY SOME HOUSEHOLDS NEVER EXPERIENCE LOAD SHEDDING