Plant Operation

South Africa / US-Based Jacobs Wins Contract For Koeberg Life Extension Work

By David Dalton
13 August 2021

US-Based Jacobs Wins Contract For Koeberg Life Extension Work
The two-unit Koeberg nuclear power station in South Africa. Courtesy Eskom.
US-based Jacobs has  won a contract to carry out essential engineering modifications as part of a $1.2bn programme to extend the operating life of the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town, South Africa.

The project is in preparation for the installation of six replacement steam generators, each weighing about 380 tonnes and about 20 meters long, at the two-unit plant operated by state power company Eskom.

The Dallas company will be responsible for construction management related to modifications to the secondary turbine system. The scope of work includes prefabrication of piping, pipe supports and modification, and piping replacement; installation of onsite scaffolding, rigging and lagging; vessel modifications and strengthening; and replacement of forced air cooler units.

Work on replacing the steam generators for the first of Koeberg’s two units is scheduled to start during a planned outage in January 2022, with the overall project taking two years to complete.

The current steam generators have been in service since the first unit at Koerberg was connected to the national grid in 1984. Their replacement is an essential part of the plan to extend the operational life of Koeberg by approximately 20 years, from 40 to 60 years.

South Africa is also planning to build new reactors. In November 2020, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) started a public consultation on the government’s development roadmap for 2,500 MW of nuclear-powered generating capacity.

Koeberg is South Africa’s only commercial nuclear power station. Unit 1 began commercial operation in 1984 and Unit 2 in 1985.

According to International Atomic Energy Agency data, in 2020 the two 930-MW pressurised water reactor units provided about 5.9% of South Africa’s electricity production, down from 6.7% in 2019.

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