MARCH 2011
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Major Projects

Building SA

Power Program

Murray & Roberts Projects has started to make good progress in its work on the power program.

Medupi Unit 6  
Medupi Unit 6 boiler house steel erection
in progress

While progress on the Medupi project was hampered by past design and access to site issues, the project team is now focusing on a completion and handover date for the first boiler unit late this year. More good news is that lessons learned from construction of the first unit (unit 6) have improved the methodology adopted on the construction of the second unit (unit 5) and good progress has been made with the second unit since construction commenced in November 2010.

Murray & Roberts Projects is contracted to Hitachi Power Africa for the Medupi and Kusile boiler packages comprising 12 units of 800 megawatts electrical (MWe) each. These power stations are the largest dry-cooled thermal power stations under construction in the world. Medupi is scheduled to be in full operation in 2015 and Kusile in 2016.

Murray & Roberts Projects is responsible for the supply and fabrication of all the structural steel, ducting and bunkers and the installation of the complete boiler units involving the piecing together of over one hundred thousand high pressure components and mechanical equipment.

To date, some 2 710 tonnes of ducting and bunker components have been fabricated out of a total of 24 400 tonnes for the project. Production has been slow but improved elemental designs, detailing and fabrication processes are now starting to take shape, and production output figures are improving.

There are currently about 2 000 operatives and supervisors employed at the Medupi site and this number will rise to about 3 000 as the later units become available for erection. The workforce comprises a wide range of skills sourced largely from South Africa, including the local community, and supplemented by certain specialist international skills.

The project has reached over one million man hours worked without a lost time incident twice in the last 12 months and the team has its next target of two million man hours in its sights. The lost time injury frequency ratio is currently 0,95.

Kusile Power Station

Progress at Kusile is limited to offsite manufacture and procurement activity. Mobilisation will begin when access to the boiler island is granted later this year.



Auxiliary boilers 1, 2 and 3 chimney stack erected, interconnecting pipework and ductwork in progress

Boiler unit 6

  • Boiler mainframe complete
  • Boiler house structure and platforms, gratings, railings and buck stays in progress with 1 231 tonnes erected
  • Bunker supporting structure in progress
  • Auxiliary bay steel and roof structure complete
  • Superheater piping assembly in progress for rear wall panels
  • Assembly of coal bunkers 1 and 2 and installation of liner plates in progress
  • Installation of elevators in progress

Boiler unit 5

  • Boiler mainframe erection ongoing
  • Auxiliary bay erection nearing completion


  • Lateral lay-down area construction complete
  • Structural steel for the mainframe fabricated and delivered to site
  • Mobilisation of construction equipment nearing completion
  • Project team mobilised
  • Main warehouse construction in progress
  • Ductwork, bunker manufacturing facility complete, producing
  • boiler unit 1

World Class Delivery


The most important milestone for 2011 is the commencement of operations on the entire system towards the middle of the year.


The Gautrain Project achieved an important milestone in 2010 with the successful opening of Phase 1 for commercial service in time for the Soccer World Cup. The project also made significant progress in other areas of operation.

Gautrain highlights after June 2010:

  • The civil construction works for viaduct 5, which is more than five kilometres long through Centurion, were completed in July
  • All alignment sections from Midrand up to Pretoria Station were handed over to the electrical and mechanical contractor in September
  • The trackwork was installed from Midrand through to Pretoria Station by October 2010
  • All rolling stock for the system (24 train units or 96 rail cars) was delivered by the end of November 2010
  • Midrand Station construction was completed by November
  • Most of the physical civil construction and installation work on the Gautrain was completed before the end of 2010
  • The power supply and distribution energisation of the line up to Centurion and the electrification of the line between Sandton and Rosebank was completed by December
  • Sandton Station construction was completed by the end of the year

2011 milestones:

  • The trackwork installation on the whole route for the full Gautrain system 
  • The full electrical and mechanical installation works
  • The testing and commissioning of systems for the Centurion section
  • Testing and commissioning for the Hatfield section

Construction started at the end of September 2006 and has been undertaken in two phases. The first phase was initially planned to be of 45 month contractual duration, but was completed three weeks ahead of this on 08 June 2010. It includes the network between the OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton and the stations at OR Tambo, Rhodesfield, Marlboro and Sandton, together with the depot and operations control centre located near Allandale Road in Midrand. The second phase, constructed concurrently, will be completed this year. It includes the remainder of the rail network and stations linking Sandton to Park Station in Johannesburg and the route from Midrand to Hatfield.

Gautrain   Gautrain
The UCW team delivered the last of the train sets to the Gautrain depot in Midrand amid much fanfare in December 2010   Utility works on the alignment at Viaduct 4 over Rietspruit and Olifantsfontein Road South