Eskom Creates Intelligent Engineering Information Assets with PPM Technology

Eskom's Kusile Project

Standardizing engineering information

Back in 2011, Eskom, one of the largest electricity companies in the world, started to use Intergraph Smart and SmartPlant suite of solutions for power station fleet-wide design base and engineering requirements management.

Currently, Eskom is in the process of adding more power generation capacity to its fleet, with one of these additions being the design, construction, and commissioning of six power generation units for the Kusile coal-fired power station. When operational, the Kusile Power Station will have 4,800 MW power generation capability, making it one of the largest coal-fired power stations in the world. The station is expected to be in full commercial production by 2021. To decrease reliance and expedite handover, Eskom decided to implement several Hexagon PPM solutions for the project and migrate from using the execution partner’s tools to using Eskom’s in-house solutions. 

Eskom appointed an implementation partner for the project and made use of the partner’s systems and infrastructure. To decrease reliance and expedite handover, Eskom decided to implement several Hexagon PPM solutions for the project and migrate from using the execution partner’s tools to using Eskom’s in-house. Eskom also recently deployed SmartPlant Enterprise for Owner Operators (SPO) on local infrastructure to enable all engineers to access and review contractor information.

The use of Hexagon PPM’s information management and design tools enables Eskom and its implementation partner to create truly integrated project execution capabilities and maximize the use of an integrated plant information systems and delivery of an integrated engineering design basis. This allows delivery of an intelligent integrated information asset of the highest value and integrity across the entire plant life cycle. Creating this information asset was a challenge, as it meant the migration of more than 180,000 technical legacy documents and nearly one million project documents to the Eskom SPO and EDMS (Engineering Document Management System) platforms.

Creating centralized engineering information assets

Figure 1 (below) shows the new implementation of Hexagon PPM solutions for the Kusile Project. It depicts how Eskom created two environments to decrease business risk. The first environment (SPO design) is integrated with SmartPlant design tools and allows approved users to make changes (create, read, update, terminate) to designs during the design/modification phase of a project.

Any modifications and changes to the design base occur in the “SPO Design” environment on the left-hand side. Engineers working in this space are provided with appropriate access to the 2D and 3D design tools, allowing them to make any required changes to design base design drawings and data.

SPO Implementation at Eskom's Kusile Project.

The second environment is a read-only environment where the design base is hosted and contains all the information required to operate and maintain the plant, known as “SPO O&M”, on the right-hand side. As such, users will not have access to the Smart 2D/3D design tools. Access to the design base information is enabled via a portal environment or directly in the SPO software platform itself.

In addition to this basic configuration, productivity enhancement tools such as Intergraph Smart Data Validator and SmartPlant Fusion were implemented to assist in the validation of engineering data and information. These tools were also used to enable high-quality bulk migration of documentation to the SPO platform.

Key benefits

One of the key benefits Eskom has achieved by using Intergraph Smart and SmartPlant tools is the ability to identify design inconsistencies between models provided by the EPC contractor. The integration capability of Hexagon PPM solutions enables design inconsistencies to be rectified and resolved before installation starts, allowing major savings by avoiding rework and lowering construction costs. This was especially crucial for the Kusile Project, as even one day of standing time or delay would produce a cost of approximately R48 million /€32 000.

Further benefits included:

Improved data quality and management of meta-data in the system

Enhanced control of the EDMS process

Better design base management as all data and information are now managed in one integrated system

Construction optimization using 3D-4D integration

Collaboration on the Smart Enterprise platform with the contractors to speed up project execution and minimize rework

Moving Forward

During the Kusile Project, Eskom has experienced the benefits of using Hexagon PPM information management and design tools. Eskom will continue to use Hexagon PPM tools to further improve engineering information management for both greenfield and brownfield projects; in addition to the Kusile Project, the SPO solution has been rolled out to 14 production sites across Eskom's fleet.

Eskom’s general manager of engineering, Danie Odendaal, said, “Eskom requires an integrated asset information and data management system and selected the Hexagon PPM tools for the management of design base information and to improve project delivery”.

You can read the whole case study here.