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Zest supplies SA’s new gas helium project

January 2022 News

South Africa’s exciting onshore natural gas and helium project, Tetra4, is being supplied with transformers, switchgear and containerised modular substations by local electrical equipment specialist Zest WEG.

Developed by emerging producer Renergen, Tetra4 is the country’s first holder of an onshore petroleum production right. Located near Virginia in the Free State province, the natural gas in the deposit reportedly contains world-beating concentrations of helium – up to 12% compared to typical levels of around 0,5%.

The first phase of the project is advancing well, with the construction of the liquid natural gas (LNG) and helium plant scheduled for completion in 2022. According to Lukas Barnard, Zest WEG’s sector specialist, the equipment ordered from Zest WEG is on track to be delivered and on time.

“The transformers we have been contracted to supply are a 7 MVA 33/11 KV unit and two 1,5 MVA 6,6/0,4 KV units, being manufactured locally at our transformer facility in Wadeville,” says Barnard. “We will also supply the 33 kV, 11 kV and 6,6 kV medium voltage switchgear, which will be installed into two six-metre containerised substations.”

Renergen says it wanted a supplier with the necessary experience and expertise, but more than that it needed a partner who could meet the tight delivery requirements, with enough flexibility to find solutions to the challenges related to a project of this nature.

“There have been many benefits working with local companies including additional flexibility and control, while allowing us to react quickly to changes and challenges that arise as we roll out the project,” says Renergen COO, Nick Mitchell.

Renergen also emphasises the advantage of Zest WEG’s package solutions capability, especially in a project like this with multiple streams of work that need to be coordinated across multi-disciplinary teams. Barnard says this is where Zest WEG’s project manager added considerable value in terms of management, procurement and project flow.

He also notes the advantages of the containerised and E-House modular substations in fast-track projects. “Building a brick-and-mortar substation means more personnel and activity on site over an extended period, with all the related health and safety implications such as inductions and medical checks,” concludes Barnard. “It is quicker and far more convenient to build it in a well-equipped facility such as ours where it is also possible to run factory acceptance tests before delivery.”


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