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Giant transformer on its way to Gerus

Giant transformer on its way to Gerus

Footage: Contributed

Niël Terblanché
ROUGHLY ten months after it was transported to South Africa for repairs, a giant electrical transformer is on its way back through Namibia to be reinstalled at the Gerus substation between Outjo and Otjiwarongo.
According to Rosa Nikanor, a spokesperson for Nampower, the gigantic 315 MVA transformer with the voltage ratings of 400/220/22kV is being transported via road from Johannesburg via Botswana where it was repaired.
The transformer, one of the four that were commissioned with the Zambezi Link Interconnector in 2010, has since arrived back in Namibia via Botswana to be reinstalled at Gerus. Before it was transported to South Africa during September last year, internal faults were detected in the transformer through a proactive maintenance programme, and as such NamPower took a decision to de-energise the transformer to curb further damage and avoid running the transformer to failure.
The huge 175 tonne transformer is mounted on a 17 axle multi-axle trailer. Each axle has eight wheels which accounts for a 136 wheel trailer. The entire road train is almost 100 metres in length. The trailer used to transport the transformer consists of three separate sections and is drawn by two truck tractors. A third truck tractor pushes from behind to assist with steering and powering the three sections of trailer. The road train weigh in excess of 290 tonnes making it one of the heaviest loads to ever to be transported on Namibian roads.
Members of the Namibian Police’s traffic division are escorting the long road train carrying the abnormal load. The road train moves very slowly and motorists using the route that the transformer will follow, are warned to take caution when approaching and passing the road train on the road.
The road train arrived in Gobabis earlier today and it will slowly make its way towards Windhoek and further on the Otjiwarongo over the next few days.

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