In 2002, the South African and Mozambique Governments agreed on a Gas-Pipeline Project. The Sasol gas transmission pipeline, stretching over 800 kilometres, ran from Mozambique to Secunda, for the transmission of natural gas to its Secunda processing plant. The gas was sourced from the Pande and Temane Gas Fields in Mozambique. Sasol Petroleum International, the upstream subsidiary of Sasol Ltd, has started up its 63 million gigajoules/year (over 150 MMscfd) expansion at the Temane, Mozambique; gas processing plant capacity is more than 450 MMscfd in 2012. The pipeline is 50% owned by Sasol, 25% by the South African government and 25% by the Mozambique government. With South Africa's new democracy, there was an increase in energy demand. This resulted in another pipeline being agreed upon. This pipeline would run parallel to the current pipeline from Mozambique to South Africa. The first phase of construction for the 125km pipeline began in 2013.

Comms in a remote location

The first phase of the pipeline project stretching 125 kilometres has been awarded in a joint venture to two local construction partners of SASOL.

They soon realised that communication throughout the stretch of pipeline was of the upmost importance as there was no cellular communications in that remote part of Mozambique. Workers would need the ability to call for help in the case of an emergency.

During the construction period, a radio communication system would be needed for daily communication requirements and ensure the personnel security. After the pipeline construction, the radio communication system could be left for Sasol pipeline route maintenance, or can be removed to the next new construction area.

Hytera - the accessible anywhere solution

Hytera were approached to come up with a solution that would allow communications to be accessible anywhere alongside the current project. The solution is based on a reliable wide-coverage digital radio communication system and also an easily deployed power supply system.

After an extensive site survey was carried out along the proposed route, Hytera came up with the following solution:

  • 7-Site RD98X Repeaters linked via 5.8 GHZ Microwave link
  • 35-PD78X Portable Radios used by personnel roaming up & down the construction site
  • 35-MD78X Mobile Radios were mounted in the construction vehicles

By carefully selecting and planning the correct positioning of the Repeater sites, Hytera came up with a solution to connect all the Repeaters via IP-Microwave links to each other. Yagi-Antennas are used to give the range in a straight line that is required to the next repeater.

Roaming function of the Hytera terminals give the advantage to allow the customer to either talk locally (in the same Repeater site) or throughout the network without having to select the repeater you are closest to, thus being able to connect to any radio throughout the network.

The results

  • The radios are robust with high ingress protection level, suitable for daily work in a construction environment.
  • The repeater IP-connection and terminal emergency function can inter-connect all the subscribers to protect them from attack by wild animals or unexpected situations.
  • Ace communications, a Hytera dealer in South Africa, supports supervision and commissioning during the project.
  • Fast response during and after the project implementation, greatly increasing client satisfaction.

Future expansion possibility

This system can be either moved as the next phase of the construction requires or easily expanded to 'grow' with the length of the Pipeline.

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5 January 2017

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