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​City invests in R825 million substation to drive growth

City Power – the City of Johannesburg’s power utility – is spending more than R824 million to build a new substation in Sebenza, in northeast Johannesburg, to increase its capacity and strengthen power supply in one of the fastest growing areas in the city.

The areas to benefit from the multimillion rand infrastructure investment are Alexandra, Gresswold, Sandringham, Athol-Oaklands, Rosebank, Melrose, Parkhurst, Midrand and Modderfontein.

Work on the 400/275/88kv substation – which started in December last year – is being carried out by CONCO Energy Solutions, a division of Consolidated Power Projects. CONCO, which is headquartered in Midrand, has almost three decades of electrical construction experience in sub-Sahara Africa, focusing on its core business as a full turnkey electrical procurement and construction contractor.

According to Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Infrastructure Services and Environment, Councillor Matshidiso Mfikoe, the timing was crucial as growth in the designated supply area had significantly increased without any upgrade of ageing power infrastructure being undertaken.

The resultant high electricity demand, MMC Mfikoe said, led to the power grid in the area becoming constrained, hence City Power’s move to give a boost to the electricity infrastructure. The project is scheduled to be completed in December 2017. An extra 1 000MVA is expected to be added to the utility’s currently installed capacity on completion.

“The new substation is located near the Kelvin Power Station in Sebenza, Kempton Park and is aimed at improving the quality, reliability and capacity of power supply to the northeastern region of Johannesburg. The Sebenza Substation project will also stimulate the much-needed economic growth in Johannesburg, one of South Africa’s major economic hubs. Part of the project’s initiative is to take some of the load sitting at Prospect Substation to Sebenza Substation. Economic numbers confirm that Johannesburg’s growth and development has a direct link to Gauteng and the South African economy at large." MMC Mfikoe explained.

MMC Mfikoe said as a result of the investment, power outages would be minimised while output would be maximised. The new substation will allow City Power to construct new substations to relieve load on existing substations. This will allow the utility to do preventive maintenance with minimal outages.

MMC Mfikoe said a similar project was being mooted for the south of Johannesburg.