Jacobs selected for engineering work at Koeberg NPP

18 August 2021

US-based Jacobs said on 12 August it had been selected to carry out essential engineering modifications as part of a $1.2 programme to extend the operating life of South Africa’s Koeberg NPP near Cape Town. Koeberg, South Africa's sole NPP, generates 5% of the its electricity. The project is in preparation for the installation of six replacement steam generators, each weighing about 380 tons and about 20 metres long, at the two-reactor plant operated by power utility Eskom.

"This project is vital to maintain the pivotal role of nuclear power in South Africa's energy mix," said Jacobs Energy Security and Technology Senior Vice President Karen Wiemelt. "To date, this is the largest single contract for our nuclear team in South Africa, which has successfully completed numerous engineering, procurement and construction projects to support operations at Koeberg over the past 30 years."

Jacobs will be responsible for construction management related to modifications to the secondary turbine system. The scope of work includes prefabrication of piping, pipe supports and modification, and piping replacement; installation of on-site scaffolding, rigging and lagging; vessel modifications and strengthening; and replacement of forced air cooler units.

Work on replacing the steam generators for the first of Koeberg's two units is scheduled to start during a planned outage in January 2022, with the overall project taking two years to complete. The current steam generators have been in service since the plant was connected to the national grid in 1984. Their replacement is an essential part of the plan to extend the operational life of Koeberg by approximately 20 years, from 40 to 60 years.

Jacobs completed numerous upgrades on Koeberg over the past 30 years. According to the Jacobs website: “At Koeberg, our projects range from providing additional spent fuel cooling capacity, station blackout mitigation, and new hydrogen production and bulk storage plant, through to replacing the refuelling water storage tank.”

About 12.6 tonnes of asbestos roof sheets and 14.1 tonnes of structural steelwork were safely removed ahead of schedule. “We also created a new design to install an independent seal cooling system with an independent power supply system.”

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