Ten months before the start of the 2010 football World Cup competition in South Africa kicks off, Allen Gears Services has already scored a major win.
Ahead of the Rainbow Nations role as hosts to the worlds footballing elite, Allen Gears Services has been included in the programme to de-mothball the Komati power station operated by Eskom, South Africa's government-owned electricity utility, which is among the top seven utilities in the world in terms of generation capacity,. Komati, one of three coal-fired facilities to be brought back into service, will help to secure a reliable supply of electricity when the country becomes the focus of the worlds attention in July.
Komatis design is unique, as its the only power station with a common steam range, with its nine boilers jointly feeding the nine generators.
Allen Gears association with Komati stretches back over half a century with the completion of the first site investigation in 1957. Nine state-of-the-art Allen Epicyclic units were commissioned between 1961 and 1966, Housed in an east and west pump house configuration, the power units were gradually de-commissioned from 1988 onwards, starting with the shut-down of three units, keeping one in reserve and the other five operating only at peak hours. In1990 the station ceased production and its coal contract was terminated.
Having been unused for over 15 years, Komatis revival began with the re-commissioning of the west pump house, which is now back in operation with all gearboxes working perfectly and the programme continues to bring the East Pump house back into production before the start of the World Cup competition in 2010.
It is a significant testimony to the design and superb manufacturing quality of the Allen Gears units that, even after a long shutdown, when re-commissioning commenced all nine gearboxes functioned without faults or any remedial work being required. As a precaution, Allen Gears Services undertook a full service of three of the gears, chosen at random, which were stripped, inspected and fully reported prior to re-commission. No faults were found.
Allen Gears Services has been recently commissioned to supply a complete spare Planetary Epicyclic Gearbox for the East Pump house, which will enable Komati to maintain its units on a continual basis whilst avoiding downtime through lack of spares support. This is the largest order won in South Africa to date by Allen Gears Services and represents a major achievement and milestone for the company.
The spare gear, a Motor Driven Horizontal CW Pump Drive, is an exact replica of an original gear installed back in the 60s:
Input: 1475 rpm
Output: 375 rpm
Rated Power: 1.5MW
Allen Gears Services continues to supply various services to Eskom, helping to ensure an unbroken power supply to South Africa well beyond 2010.