Project Type
Project Team Zoom Interview Case Study
Project Summary Case Study
Steel Profiles Used
  • Date of Steelwork Completion
  • Tonnage
  • Hot Rolled Structural Sections
    Universal Beams (I Sections), Universal Columns (H Sections)
  • Grating Hand Railing and Expanded Metal
    Gratings, Hand Railings
Project Overview

Viva’s scope was part of a larger CSP (Concentrating Solar Power)Project in Kathu, Northern
Cape. This once-in-a-lifetime project was part of round four of the IPPP (Independent Power Producer Program) in South Africa. Viva Engineering were responsible for the central tower staircase and service platforms, from ground to 188,5m. Power Consulting, was responsible for the connection design. All design work was done in accordance with EC 3 / BS 5950, we were aided by a connection design packaged created by IDEA StatiCa.

The load combinations included thermal expansion, seismic, human access and self-weight. Sliding connection were also employed throughout the height of the 250m tower to compensate for horizontal movement and potential misalignment in the construction process.

The package outputs included summaries of joint efficiency (plates, bolts and welds) as well equivalent FEA equivalent stress for the “worst case” load combinations. The final height of the absorber tower is 250m, which, when complete will make it the tallest structure in South Africa! (Ref Google)

Viva Engineering’s
scope included the
connection design
shop detailing
corrosion protection
and delivery to site of the Central Absorber Tower staircase and Service Platforms

The final height of the absorber tower is 250m
The Overall height of Staircase is 188.50m

Project Details
Staircase Columns UC305*118 Staircase Bracing UC203*60 Staircase main Beams UB305*165*46 Stair stringers PC260*75 Service platforms had some Plate Girders 700*250*16w*20F 3 Main service platforms members: Columns-- UC305*305*118 UC305*305*97 UC254*254*89 Beams UC305*305*118 UB254*146*43 UC305*305*97 Bracing - UB254*146*43, UB203*133*25 Service Platforms are Ø 16.9m in diameter
Staircase modules were fully assembled in a preassembly yard before being moved to the lifting area The area around the central tower was extremely congested so no assembly work could be done in this area.Staircase modules were lifted over the top of the concrete silo before being lowered down the inside onto the awaiting concrete plinths … and then the awaiting splice connections
Language Barrier With broken English and non existent Mandarin, weekly meetings progressed with difficulty. Slowly but surely everyone found the best ways to communicate and sure enough the expectations of the client were met. Client 24/7 expectations SEPCO had a number of Engineers assigned to each package. These Engineers would be rotated on a day and night shift as well as RR off time. So at any time Viva Team would be dealing with 3-4 different people on a 24/7 basis. Project Timeframes From the outset of the project, fabrication timeframes were unrealistically short and this added additional pressure on the Viva teams involved in the project

"We are proud of the quality of workmanship and design of this incredible structure.
With extremely tight project timelines, this project illustrates the substantial benefits of off site fabrication concurrently while a substantial amount of civil work is being completed concurrently.
The excellent working relationship which was developed with the Chinese Contractor SEPCO3.
Whilst the language barrier has been extremely challenging throughout the project, with broken English and non existent Mandarin, weekly meetings progressed and the expectations of the client were met.
(Sometimes it did feel like we were on the construction site of the Tower of Babel!)
Viva Engineering – trusted to dizzying heights!!"