Controlled access for 15 000 people each day

October 2012 Industrial (Industry), Industrial (Industry)

Construction of the Kusile coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga is well under way and work is being carried out at a furious pace. The first power generating unit is expected to go online in 2014 and this additional capacity is desperately needed to relieve the Eskom grid, which is currently under tremendous strain. All six power generating units are planned to be operational by the end of 2018 with a total capacity of 4800 megawatts.

The Kusile site is approximately 5200 hectares and clearing of the site began in April 2008. The power station is expected to use up to 17 million tons of coal per annum for a period of 47 years. This makes Kusile one of the biggest coal fired power stations in the world.

A number of issues had to be catered for in the construction of the plant:

* A consortium of large construction companies is working on the Kusile project: Stefanutti Stocks, Basil Read, Group Five and WBHO were jointly awarded the civil works contract. Securing a site of this magnitude has been a major challenge.

* Over 15 000 workers arrive at the main gate every day. Any turnstile solution must not become a bottleneck where unproductive time is wasted while waiting to enter the construction site.

* Administratively, there is the challenge of accurately managing employee clocking and avoiding time and attendance fraud.

* Occupational health and safety is a serious legal requirement and no worker can be allowed onto the site if intoxicated and without the correct PPE.

* Opportunities for industrial espionage must be limited. The power generation industry is dominated by American, French and Japanese firms. Each firm has its own industrial secrets and technologies which give it a competitive advantage. No cameras can be allowed into the construction site.

* A construction site, by its very nature, is a fluid and temporary arrangement. An area which is a convenient entrance one day can become an obstacle on another day. A temporary access controlled solution would be required which can be easily moved and positioned.

The preparation

Turnstar worked closely with the Eskom management at Kusile to find the right temporary access controlled solution. Turnstar suggested that a bank of turnstiles be installed in converted shipping containers. Recently, Turnstar supplied 48 Titan half height turnstiles which were installed in containers to the construction site of the London Olympic Stadium. The containers would be fitted with their own DB board and all access control paraphernalia required for time & attendance.

The solution

Eskom placed an order with Turnstar for 56 Triumph 4 full height single turnstiles and seven forty-foot shipping containers. The Triumph was chosen due to its durability in harsh and dusty environments. It is also supplied with a 5-year guarantee. Each container would be fitted with eight turnstiles. 15 000 employees will be using these turnstiles, which means ±270 employees per turnstile. On average, it would take 30 minutes for all employees to enter the construction site, which is within Eksom’s requirements. Before entry through the turnstile, all employees are checked for intoxication by means of an alcohol sniffer and are checked for cameras.

The shipping containers were waterproofed, painted and converted by removing the side panels. The removal of the side panels creates a large entrance through which the employees can pass through the eight turnstiles. Lighting and an Eskom approved DB board were fitted. The turnstiles were bolted to the wooden floor. Once completed, the containers were taken from the depot through to Kusile by means of a crane truck. The crane then placed the container at the area to be access controlled.

The project took a total of eight weeks from date of order to final delivery to complete.


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