Gariepdam information

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Gariep Hydroelectric power station

On the Eskom website you will find more of the following information, so visit them and learn more.
You will find power in the Lake !Gariep area.

Location: 300 metres downstream of the Gariep Dam wall on the banks of the Orange River, near Norvalspont in the Eastern Cape.

Employees: Thirteen (13) employees.

Technical details:

Four 90MW units
Installed capacity: 360MW
2001 capacity: 344MW
Average availability over the last 3 years: 96.58%
Average production over the last 3 years: 889GWh

History: Gariep’s first two machines went into commercial service in 1971 and the last two in March 1976.

General: A feature of Gariep’s machines is that they can be used as synchronous condensers, helping to stabilise the operation of the high-voltage interconnected system. Electricity from Gariep is fed into the Eskom network at the Hydra Distribution Station near De Aar, which is one of the distribution stations fed by the transmission lines linking the Western Cape with the power stations in Mpumalanga.

Gariep Dam Water Affairs

On the Gariep Dam / Lake !Gariep water Affairs website you will find more of this interesting information so visit their site to learn more.

The Gariep Dam (formerly known as the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam) forms the largest storage reservoir on South Africa with a total storage of approximately 5500 million m3 and a surface area of more than 370 km2 when full. The dam is the central structure of the original Orange River Project which involves the supply of water to parts of the Vaal, Fish and Sundays catchments as well as to irrigation along the Orange river itself.

Water from the Gariep Dam is released downstream into the Vanderkloof Dam through four generators which are each capable of producing 90 MW of electricity at a flow rate of approximately 200 m3/s. The hydro-power plant can therefore provide up to 360 MW of electricity at a flow rate of 800 m3/s.

The Gariep Dam is 88m high (90.5m above foundation level), with a crest length of 914m and contains approximately 1.73 million m3 of concrete. It is situated in a gorge at the entrance to Ruigte Valley some 5km east of Norvalspont. It is a combined gravity and arch dam built entirely of concrete. Since the gorge at the dam site is too wide to allow a complete arch, only the central portion is arched. The two concrete flank walls were needed to form artificial gravity abutments for the main arch. The dam is a double curvature structure i.e., it is shaped like an eggshell making it one of the most impressive and aesthetically appealing dams in South Africa.

The dam wall incorporates two huge outlet structures on the upstream side of the wall. The one on the left flank supplies water under pressure to the hydro-electric power station while both can be used for controlled release of water into the river. There are also six enormous radial gates, three on each side of the dam which forms a striking feature of the dam. These gates are used to discharge flood-waters into six concrete chutes which lead the water away from the base of the dam wall into the downstream flow of the river. In this manner the risk of erosion to the base of the dam wall is minimised. The radial gates are rubber sealed and faced with stainless steel which provide a life expectancy of three centuries – well in excess of the design life of the dam itself.

Gariep Dam was the first dam where the construction was put out to tender by the DWAF who had previously planned, designed and constructed all major water works commissioned in South Africa. The tender was awarded to Union Corporation/Dumez Borie Dams in 1966 and it was commissioned in 1971.

Water from the Gariep Dam is transferred to the Fish and Sundays basins via the Orange/Fish Tunnel which was until recently the longest continuous water transfer tunnel in the world with a length of more than 82km.

This page is used to promote the biggest in Africa Water Affairs at Gariep Damwall operations.
Visit their site and then give them a visit!

Gariep Dam Airfield

The little town of Gariepdam is nestled against a hill at the western end of a man-made lake. The town was built to facilitate the construction of the dam in the ’60s. Today it is essentially a tourist destination, a focal point for lovers of water sport, nature and gliding.

Far away from the bustling city, Gariepdam is free from noise, pollution and crime. The sunsets are unbelievable and the stars so bright that the night almost seems to surround you. It’s a haven of peace for those who want to “get away from it all”.

Much drier than the Johannesburg area, the summer days are predictably very warm, with only an occasional brief shower. Winter days are crisp and sunny. There are none of the tropical sicknesses such as Malaria or Bilharzia and the water is very pure.

The countryside around Gariepdam is a fascinating combination of lake, rocky hills, grassland and the mighty tree-lined Orange River. The sparse vegetation favours sheep farming, but game and hunting farms are common and there are several large game reserves in the area.

Just north of the town, in the middle of a wide grassy valley, lies one of the best small airfields in the country. Once handling busy traffic during the construction of the dam, Gariep Dam Airfield has two long and wide tarmac runways, taxiway and apron. With a game reserve on one boundary and the lake only a few kilometres to the east, wild life is plentiful nearby. A high ridge several kilometres away to the north forms a long silhouette and shelter against the northerly winds. To the west the tree-lined Orange River slowly winds its long journey to the Atlantic.

Today, the airfield mostly handles occasional Eco-tourism traffic. It is also an ideal refuelling point on the way to the south. However, being located in the middle of South Africa, far away from any controlled airspace, and with such ideal weather conditions, Gariep Dam Airfield is also an ideal sport-flying centre.

Glider pilots have been going there for years, exploiting some of the world’s best soaring conditions. Now, the airfield has been secured by two glider pilots who are implementing changes and improvements to make Gariep Dam Airfield the best soaring and sports aviation centre in the southern hemisphere.

All of this aviation action are in the Lake !Gariep area.

This page is used to promote our big Airfield with two tar runways of +/- 2km each at Gariep Dam.
Visit their site and then give them a visit!

Gariepdam Map

Gariepdam Map in central South Africa

Sunset from Gariepdam town.

Gariepdam Google Map

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