Project Maximum Demand 6,5 MVA (spread across 7 MV substations)
Date 2007 – 2011
Cost Approx R40M
Municipality City of Cape Town
Project Scope 2 X MV (11000v) main incomer substations, 7X MV secondary transformer substations, 20 transformers ; fully automated remote SCADA system

With most electrical infrastructure in the Cape Town CBD being installed in the 1970's, the equipment at this city centre complex was reaching the end of its design lifespan. After assessing the condition of the equipment by doing oil sample analysis and studying maintenance history, we recommended that all the MV equipment be replaced. As a part of the consultant team, Koukab made a valuable contribution to the success of this complex project.

Project Challenges
A key requirement from the client was that power outages had to be avoided or limited. The initial approach was thus to construct the new network in parallel with the existing equipment and then transfer load to the new network over a series of short outages supported by diesel generators. The situation was further complicated by the lack of space for the new substations. In consultation with the contractors and professional team, it was eventually decided to convert six basement parking bays into the substation rooms required for the main incomer substations.

Project Novelty
Construction of the main MV substations in the basement presented a technical design challenge due to the height restriction. We had to customize the main switchgear by splitting the upper compartment from the main panel to accommodate the height restriction of the basement ceiling and columns. The entire network was further enhanced by the installation of a new fibre optic SCADA system allowing the network to be remotely monitored and controlled.