Our stay in Middelburg preceded our tour of one of the largest construction projects in the world, the Kusile Power Station. We were lucky enough to get this special tour set up by some fellow Midwesterners. Black and Vetch ( a engineering company based out of Kansas City) has a very large presence in the design and construction of this plant. Our Tour guide was a graduate from Mizzou’s school of engineering (we also talked with some other engineers from the Midwest). It was really neat to see the components of a power plant on such a large scale. This project has, and will continue to require so much planning, design, and hard work from hundreds of people. The engineers on the project are brought from all over the world to stay and work on the design for a few years at a time. Many have enjoyed the work and area and have opted to stay longer. This project has provided work for so many locals who come to work each day for only a few dollars. The minimum wage is extremely low in the area, yet workers are lining up for the opportunity to work these labor intensive jobs.
It was very neat to have the opportunity to talk to these engineers over lunch. They grew up in the same area as I, and went to the same type of schooling as I. My future could easily be their present. Moving to the other side of the world for work and new experience seems like such an exhilarating life path. Don’t worry Mom, I don’t plan on moving to South Africa permanently. They were able to answer a lot of questions for us about the plant, their new lives, and things they missed from the US.
We were not able to take our cameras inside the plant so I don’t have any personal photos to share with you. I also don’t know much about the demographic of my readers, so I don’t know how much you all would like to hear about the plant. From an engineering point of view, I thought it was very interesting. The plant is coal-fired and will generate over 5,550 megawatts. It is HUGE! Hopefully I will get access to some photos soon to share with you, but I am not sure that they will be able to put it into perspective.
If this kind of thing interest you, please let me know, I would be glad to share more!