South African utility Eskom has awarded Voith Siemens Hydro a EUR140 million contract to supply equipment for the Ingula pumped storage hydropower project.

Voith Siemens Hydro will supply the complete electro-mechanical equipment including four pump-turbines, four motor-generators and the complete automation and control system. Construction has already started and the project is due to come on-line in 2013.

The 4 x 333 MW scheme is the first new pumped storage project in the country for 25 years and will help to alleviate South Africa’s tight supply margin and improve grid stability. It will consist of two dams, 4.6 km apart close to the city of Ladysmith in eastern South Africa.

The reservoirs created by the dams will both have a capacity of approximately 22 million m3 and will be connected by underground tunnels and the powerhouse. During times of peak energy consumption, water will be released from the upper dam through the pump turbines to the lower dam to generate electricity.

During times of low energy demand the pump turbines are used to pump the water from the lower dam back up to the upper dam.

Voith Siemens Hydro will use its German and Japanese operating units to design and manufacture the equipment, with the motor-generators coming from Kawasaki in Japan, and the pump-turbines supplied by its Heidenheim, Germany, workshops.