Gauteng Business News

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POWER: Rocla Gives Counterweight Solution to Limpopo Power Stations


Recent Gauteng Business News

The Limpopo power stations at Kusile and Medupi, recently received manufactured customised crane counterweights from Rocla, the leading specialist in precast concrete infrastructural products and solutions in Southern Africa.

The construction contract called for the use of specific Wolff Cranes and related equipment and counterweights. Due to the exorbitant shipping cost of the counterweights, Rocla was appointed to locally manufacture the products at its plant in Roodepoort.

Precise Requirements for Limpopo Power Stations

Servaas le Roux, Civil Engineer at Rocla, said, “The manufacturing process was stringent, as we had to conform to strict mass and dimensional tolerance requirements in accordance with the German manufacturer’s standards.”

“When modelling the counterweights as per Wolff Crane’s product drawings, we realised that the German aggregates used to produce concrete were at a lower specific density than typically used in South Africa, which would increase the mass of products beyond the specified tolerances if the dimensions were to be kept the same. With the assistance of our expert team and the help from our parent group, Murray and Roberts, we overcame this challenge and utilised a specific concrete mix that rendered the lower concrete density.”

The Manufacturing Process for the Limpopo Power Stations’ Cranes

Rocla manufactured three sets of 16 counterweights, weighing between five to eight tons each, for a crane at Medupi and two cranes at Kusile.

“The manufacturing process was monitored through trails and a strict quality process from inception to completion. The Rocla project team performed tests on the proposed concrete mix design to ensure that the desired density was obtained. Next, the casting of the products was monitored to ensure quality consistency. The products were then tested by a third party, Wolff Crane’s installation engineers, before final approval of the counterweights.

“By manufacturing the products at our plant, Rocla not only created job opportunities for local residents, but also demonstrated that we have the capability to customise products to stringent international standards,” concluded le Roux. These products developed for the Limpopo power stations allow for continued work and growth.

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