The Kendal Ash Disposal Facility expansion project, responsible for the storage of ash produced by Kendal Power Station until 2023, has successfully reached over 80% completion. With a projected completion date set for March 2024, this intricate venture is rapidly approaching its final stages.
Led by joint venture partners Concor and Lubocon Civils, the project accelerated its construction schedule over the winter, capitalising on the dry conditions. Concor’s Project Manager, Pierre Jansen van Vuuren, highlights the stellar productivity in June and July when the teams committed to continuous 24-hour shifts to gain momentum before the onset of the rainy season.
Spanning a massive area of 2.5 km by 3 km, the project’s components comprise the new 65 hectare Ash Disposal Facility (ADF), two dams each for both clean and polluted water storage, silt traps, an expansive 16 km V-drain system, a significant stream diversion and access road construction.
While the stream diversion and majority of the 14 km access roads have been completed, the principal focus now revolves around the ADF and the basins.
The in-situ material is clay soils which calls for a specific construction methodology. Selected stockpiled excavated materials are being used in a double-layered low permeability clay for base protection, topped with carefully selected river sand to prevent liner damage. Cutting-edge drainage and leachate collection systems are incorporated to manage water flow efficiently, emphasising sustainability with dirty water reuse for dust suppression and other ADF activities.
Concor’s innovative approach in basin construction employs a patented PVC concrete formwork system, boosting efficiency by accelerating the casting panel process. This technique is not only time saving but also labour efficient.
Jansen van Vuuren accentuates the rigorous quality control measures in place. Leak prevention is paramount, with electronic leak detection ensuring construction integrity. “Our teams maintain open communication, emphasising the importance of the quality and structural integrity of the project,” he adds.
Challenges notwithstanding, the project is gearing up to finalise the liner system installation before the rainy season, with subcontractor Aquatan managing the basins and the ADF concurrently.
Highlighting the human element, Jansen van Vuuren praises the skilled workforce, noting that 852 locals have received training, and the project’s local procurement achievement stands at a remarkable 55%.
He says this involvement extends beyond labour, and is aligned with Eskom and the Joint Venture’s CSI strategies, which are aimed at giving back to the local communities. By identifying local community recipients and working together with the contractors on its projects, Eskom ensures that the upliftment is extended beyond just employment opportunities.
A good example associated with the Kendal Ash Dump Facility project was the adding of modular classrooms using containers and the fitting out of a kitchen at a local primary school, by the Joint Venture in conjunction with Eskom. This opportunity to give back addresses other needs within the community such as education and nutrition.
Pierre van Vuuren, Concor Project Manager.
The expansion of the Kendal Ash Disposal Facility is more than 80% complete.
The Kendal Ash Disposal Facility has a project footprint that extends some 2,5 km by 3 km.
Two HDPE lined earth dams which hold clean water while two similar dams will hold polluted water.