Eskom is shopping around for ways to upgrade their power line support structure, which is good news for all suppliers of treated timber poles.
Earlier this month, the national power utility, sent out a Request for Information on structures for power lines of 33kV and below.
In the past, Eskom exclusively used Creosote poles for electricity distribution networks. Bertus says he believes the fact that South Africa’s biggest energy supplier would entertain looking at other treated pole options as part of this process, is an ideal business opportunity for treated timber businesses as CCA poles meet the requirements as set out by Eskom.
The recommended structures must allow for the conductors that carry power, to be suspended in the air and cover a 50 year life-cycle. Manufacturers of CCA treated poles can boast a product that offers longevity, thanks to a 30 to 50 year guarantee on timber treated with CCA Permacure.
Constructability aspects would have to be taken into consideration and providers must consider test, maintenance and refurbishment plans for the proposed structure to ensure the life-cycle can be met.
This means that any material or type of structure will be acceptable, provided they pass the electrical, mechanical and environmental requirements. Here again, CCA treated pole suppliers can offer quality product with considerable environmental advantages as less energy is required, and less greenhouse gases are released, during the production of the poles. CCA also has a clean, dry finish with no risk for workers coming into direct contact with the end product.
Another stipulation is that the poles must also be financially viable from a capital investment point of view. Timber distributors are in the fortunate position of being able to meet this requirement as timber poles are generally less expensive than other materials to produce.
The electricity powerhouse indicated that the tender process will be open to current and new suppliers.
“We would like to encourage our customers to take advantage of this and if any information or advice is needed customers are more than welcome to contact any one of the Dolphin Bay team members for assistance,” says Bertus.