MeerKAT Radio Telescope
ACTOM wins power transformers contract for prestigious MeerKAT radio telescope
ACTOM Power Transformers has been contracted to produce two 5 MVA power transformers for installation in the 66 kV/33 kV Karoo substation which will supply power to the MeerKAT radio telescope – a 64-dish array radio telescope to be built in the Karoo.
The contract, awarded by Square Kilometre Array (SKA) South Africa to ACTOM Power Transformers in March this year, is due for completion in February 2012. It encompasses manufacture, supply, installation and acceptance testing of the two 5 MVA transformers.
SKA South Africa is a business unit of the National Research Foundation.
The transformers have been designed by ACTOM Power Transformers in consultation with Eskom technical staff in accordance with Eskom’s stringent specifications for power transformers.
“A further additional requirement that has been specified for this application is that the transformers must have an exceptionally low partial discharge to minimise electrical interference,” said Ronnie Russell, ACTOM Power Transformers’ General Manager.
MeerKaT is a world-class radio telescope designed to do ground-breaking science. It will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the Southern Hemisphere and is expected to be completed in 2016.
The technology being developed for MeerKAT is cutting-edge and the project is creating a large group of scientists and engineers with world-class expertise in the technologies which will be crucial in the global economy in the next 10-20 years.
The MeerKAT radio telescope is currently being established in the Karoo as a pathfinder project for the international SKA. South Africa, with eight African countries as partners, and Australia with New Zealand, have been picked as possible sites to build the SKA. The SKA will be built and funded by a consortium of countries. The budget for building it is 1,5-billlion Euros and it will cost about 150-million Euros per year to operate.
A decision about where to site the SKA is due to be made next year. Construction on the SKA is scheduled to start around 2016. The first astronomical observations are expected to be made after 2019, with the telescope projected to be functional soon after 2024.
ACTOM (Pty) Ltd is the largest manufacturer and distributor of electrical equipment in South Africa, employing about 6 000 people and with an annual order intake in excess of R5bn. It is a black empowered company with 33 operating units, 27 production facilities and 28 distribution centres throughout South Africa.
ACTOM partners Alstom France for environmental equipment and in serving the maintenance, upgrade and retrofit market for larger boilers, as well as for railway transport activities.
ACTOM holds exclusive distribution, technology and representation rights for Alstom Grid (formerly the Transmission business of Areva T&D) in Southern Africa and maintains management, technical and commercial links to Alstom Grid business units in Europe.
Following the acquisition by Schneider Electric of the global Distribution business of Areva T&D, the distribution, technology and representation agreements that existed between ACTOM and Areva will remain in place until such time as a new agreement has been concluded.
ACTOM formerly traded under the name Alstom South Africa and re-branded to ACTOM in September 2009.
For further information contact Ronnie Russell, ACTOM Power Transformers
PO Box 14575, Wadeville 1422
Tel (011) 824-2810 Fax (011) 827-5116
Press release compiled by Julian Kraft, J Kraft Public Relations
PO Box 2826 Wilropark 1731
Tel (011) 472-6686 Fax 086-613-9657
Date: November 21, 2011