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When the grid fails, backup power saves the day

Client: Large producer of building systems

and construction products

Location: South Africa

Sectors: Manufacturing

The challenge

Keep furnace operating during power outages caused by unreliable grid

The customer was experiencing problems with their grid power after the failure of a 132kV transformer. After delays from the utility provider, it was replaced with a transformer half the size which was not enough to cater for all the companies in the area.

When power fails, the furnace at the customer site would cool down in 4 hours and all the current production material would be lost. This could cost approximately 1m ZAR per day.

The customer could not afford the risk of these losses so they called in Aggreko to provide guaranteed backup power to eliminate downtime in the event of future grid failures.

Project fact file

@ 22 kV 1 Standby power 5MW
Generators 4 x 1250kVA
Project length 7months
Loses avoided per day 1mZAR

The solution

Guaranteed safe, reliable backup power until grid problems resolved

Aggreko carried out a full assessment of the site, including full technical details of the furnace to ensure the backup power would prevent any material losses.

We installed 4 x 1250 generators at 22kv. Due to the high voltage, a specialist was required to design and implement the solution. Thanks to Aggreko’s training programme we have engineers with the relevant qualifications to ensure full safety and compliance for any given power solution.

We kept the backup power in place for 7 months until the grid supplier finally installed a new transformer of the right size to support the area.

To help the customer avoid any similar problems in the future we have offered them a BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) model contract to provide full flexibility for their backup power requirements.

The impact

Downtime avoided and major financial losses prevented

The customer needed an urgent installation due to the ongoing issues and once the solution was agreed it took just 1 week to install.

Downtime was prevented during the power outages that occurred over the 7 month period and as a result, the customer avoided potential losses of 1m ZAR per day.