As part of fulfilling EUL’s contractual obligation to return the plant in good working condition as stated in clause 3.6 of the Concession and Assignment Agreement of 2002, EUL commenced Unit 10 blade-servo motor refurbishment project on 25th November 2019. The total project duration is 18 months and the unit is expected to return to service in Quarter 2 of 2021.
The EUL MD, Ms Thozama Gangi flagged off the project on 16th December 2019 with the Operations Manager, Mr. Peter Tentena appointed as the Project Manager, Mr Ronald Kasekende and Ms Victoria Nakalembe as the Lead and Alternate Project Engineers respectively. The project leaders are working with 15 contractors led by Mr Hannington Olupot, a seasoned turbine engineer, who is working as technical supervisor assisted by an electrical supervisor Mr. Benon Lakony.
During the flag off ceremony, Ms Thozama encouraged the team to work together and bring back the unit within the intended timelines. She assured the team of Management support to ensure timely decisions and approvals for the Unit 10 project requirements.
The refurbishment project involves three major phases namely; Dismantling, Engineering & Reassembly, Testing and Commissioning with the core scope being to rectify the blade servo fault and generator overhaul but also with an additional scope that includes, Governor upgrade , Excitation upgrade, 11kV cables replacement, generator transformer refurbishment and civil structure repairs if approved by ERA.
Currently, the project is at dismantling stage with a progress of about 47% and this is expected to be concluded in April 2020. The highlights registered so far include; completion of the key pre-dismantling checks, removal of the rotor, stator, generator thrust bracket, generator shaft, and the complete dismantling of the guide vane servomotor among others.
The dismantling stage is planned for an approximate period of four months and it involves four stages out of which two have been completed successfully.
- Water ways preparation and dewatering - Completed
- Pre dismantling checks and inspection - Completed
- Dismantling of generator and turbine – Ongoing (45% complete)
- Engineering assessment and report writing
Although the unit was shut down due to a runner blade servomotor system regulation fault, the refurbishment scope is intended to extend to involve added activities that will facilitate further improvement of the life and reliability the unit.
No safety incidents
Currently, no safety incidents have been registered on the unit and this is attributed to the team’s dedication to achieve their targets as well as follow the safety precautions.
The Project Manager, Mr. Peter Tentena said the project team is committed to the EUL’s core value of Zero Harm and takes safety seriously. The team holds 15 minutes tool box meetings every morning to discuss Safety, Health, Environment and Quality issues including review of tasks executed the previous and those to be addressed on the current day.
Unit 10 History
Unit 10 is one of the ten generating units at Nalubaale Hydro Power Plant with a rated capacity of 18MW. The unit was first commissioned in July 1968 and later refurbished and uprated from 15MW to 18MW in April 1992. The unit was in normal service until 2013 when it was shut down due to malfunctioning of the runner hub blade servo system due to wear and tear. Similar faults were registered on Units 3 and 6 and these were rectified accordingly in 2018 and 2014 respectively. Other units including Unit 1 are scheduled for the same intervention in the near future.
TEAM LEADERS COMMENTS ABOUT THE TARGETS
Mr. Peter Tentena: The target return to service date is achievable since management is committed to support the project. Also, the implementation team is enthusiastic to deliver the project with all objectives fulfilled or exceeded.
Mr. Ronald Kasekende:
As a project engineer, my key challenge is achieving the project objectives with emphasis on technical deliverables to ensure quality work is done without comprise on scope and within the provided timelines as practical as possible. Eskom has built enough capacity to handle challenges of this magnitude and this gives me courage seeing that am surrounded by experienced individuals with such valuable experience. Together as technical and all the support arms we shall return Unit 10 to service as early as practically possible.
Unit 10 Rotor and Stator
Unit 10 Rotor withdrawn from the unit
EUL MD after flagging off the unit 10 works