Powering the Economy
Powering the Economy
In recent years, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea’s economy has surged with the discovery and operation of major oilfields. However, despite its recent success, the country still experiences electricity blackouts due to lack of supply and failing infrastructure. To move the African country toward an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020, the government is imparting major changes through a new plan for economic and social policies. Included in this plan is the creation of a new hydroelectric power station, HPP Sendje, located in the continental part of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea on the Wele River. To build the dam for the plant, general contractor Duglas Alliance Ltd. purchased a new Putzmeister Telebelt® TB 110 Truck-Mounted Telescopic Belt Conveyor and worked closely with the Putzmeister America team to train operators and develop a plan for maintaining the machine in the remote construction area.
HPP Sendje will be Equatorial Guinea’s second hydroelectric plant, bringing 200 MW of electricity to the mainland from its location 25 miles (40 km) from the main city of Bata. The project is nationally important and high profile, with the 2012 groundbreaking attended by the president of the country, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. The president emphasized that the commissioning of the plant will allow the government of Equatorial Guinea to implement the industrialization plan for the country and export electricity to the neighboring countries within the integrated power system.
One of the more challenging aspects of the HPP Sendje project is that it is located in an Ebola-ridden area of Africa. Thus, in spring 2015, the 10 Duglas Alliance Telebelt operators who would be working on the job flew from the Ukraine to Putzmeister’s headquarters in the United States for a private, weeklong Telebelt service school training session with Don Matthews, Putzmeister’s technical services manager.
While the operators were at the factory, they had the opportunity to train on the actual Telebelt they’d be receiving, which helped ensure there would not be any questions or concerns when it arrived in Africa.
“The operators and service technicians practiced everything from tensioning the belts and cables and lubricating all necessary points, to checking the scrapers and reviewing the complete care of their machine,” said Bob Weiglein, Putzmeister’s Telebelt division manager. “Having the opportunity to perform maintenance on and become familiar with their machine was invaluable given their remote job site location.”
In addition to the private training session, Putzmeister also provided a shipping container with spare parts and other jobsite necessities for the project. The 40-foot-long (12m) container is filled with shelves of spare wear parts. The on-site container with a variety of common wear parts makes the Telebelt self-sufficient on this long-term, remote project with limited access.
Upon completion of the new hydroelectric power station in 2017, the government of Equatorial Guinea hopes to ensure that its residents’ lights stay on and that the country can begin exporting electricity to its neighbors.
Owner/Developer: Republic of Equatorial Guinea
General Contractor: Duglas Alliance Ltd. -- Kiev Oblast, Ukraine
Equipment Owner: Duglas Alliance Ltd. -- Kiev Oblast, Ukraine
Equipment: Putzmeister Telebelt® TB 110 Truck-Mounted Telescopic Belt Conveyor