Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

  • Eskom energy optimization and billing reduction
  •  Design and development of new ideas
  • Optimizing of factories for energy consumption

Hydro-electrical Power Generation Plants (Turn key)

  • Investigation of new possibilities for new plants
  • Viability studies with EIA
  • Prelim design
  • Detail design
  • Project management
  •  Construction and commissioning of Hydro plants
  • Managing Hydro-electrical plants
  • Maintain Hydro-electrical plants

Pump Station Efficiency Projects

  • Pump station evaluation
  • Design and upgrading to optimum efficiency
  • Construction and project management
  • Maintenance plan


I&F Engineering has been operating in the Hydropower arena for the past few years, and offers everything needed for the efficient and future-oriented creation of hydropower. We offer expertise in all areas of project development, from design, project management to construction of  generators, turbines, pumps and automation systems. Maintenance, training services as well as digital solutions for the entire life cycle of the plants are also included.


Why is hydro electricity known as baseload?

Hydro-electricity is often referred to as “baseload” because it provides a consistent and reliable supply of electricity, operating continuously and serving as a stable foundation for the overall power grid. Unlike some other renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, which are intermittent and dependent on weather conditions, hydroelectric power plants can generate electricity 24/7 as long as water is flowing. The ability to maintain a steady output makes hydro-electricity a foundational source of power that can meet the essential energy demands of communities, industries, and infrastructures, serving as a reliable “base” for the entire energy system.

How does a small scale hydro-electrical plant generate energy?

Small-scale hydro plants, typically with capacities below 10 megawatts, operate on the fundamental principle of harnessing flowing water to generate electricity. These environmentally friendly power sources have gained increasing attention due to their smaller environmental impact compared to major hydro developments. The process involves a simple yet efficient mechanism, similar to large-scale power plants. Flowing water is directed through an intake weir or settling basin, and then channeled into a canal, leading to a forebay tank or reservoir. From there, the water is funneled through a penstock, which directs it with force onto a turbine within the powerhouse. As the water interacts with the turbine blades, it creates mechanical energy, causing the turbine to rotate. The rotational motion of the turbine is then transferred to a generator, which converts this mechanical energy into electrical energy. This clean and renewable electricity can be used to power homes, farms, and communities, contributing to a more sustainable and greener energy landscape. The flexibility of small-scale hydro plants allows them to be developed in various locations, including existing dams, rivers, and lakes. Moreover, their power generation may depend on the seasonal variations in water flow, making them adaptable to environmental conditions. In essence, small-scale hydro plants exemplify the harmonious integration of nature and technology, delivering reliable and eco-friendly energy solutions to empower communities and pave the way towards a brighter future.

Why should farmers consider building a hydroelectric power plant on their properties?

Farmers should  consider building a hydroelectric power plant on their properties for several compelling reasons. A hydro plant offers low-cost energy available 24/7, serving as reliable backup power during electricity outages. The use of water as a clean and renewable fuel source reduces pollution while ensuring a constant supply of energy. Hydro turbines have an impressive lifespan of over 40 years, making it a long-term investment with minimal maintenance costs. However, it is crucial to ensure that the site has suitable geographical features, such as steep rivers or waterfalls, and a sufficient head to generate significant power capacity. With the right conditions, a hydro plant can deliver a high return on investment, as exemplified by I&F Engineering’s projects with an IRR of approximately 18%. By embracing hydroelectric power, farmers can harness nature’s gift of water to secure sustainable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective energy for their agricultural operations, paving the way to a greener and more prosperous future.

What is the first step to understanding if a project is viable?

The first step to determining the viability of a hydroelectric power plant project is conducting a comprehensive feasibility study. This assessment involves evaluating the site’s characteristics, such as water availability and topography, and analyzing hydrological data to estimate the energy generation potential. Technical considerations include selecting the appropriate hydroelectric technology and calculating the expected power output. A detailed cost estimate is prepared, and financial analysis evaluates the economic viability and potential returns on investment. Environmental and social impact assessments ensure compliance with sustainability goals and regulations, while risk assessment identifies potential challenges. The feasibility study provides essential insights to make informed decisions on proceeding with the hydro plant development.

How does wheeling work in South Africa?

In South Africa, wheeling contracts, also known as third-party access agreements, allow electricity producers to transport their generated power through the national grid or distribution network to consumers located elsewhere. These contracts involve negotiations between the producer, the distribution/transmission network operator, and the consumer or buyer of the electricity, specifying terms, pricing, and technical details. Wheeling charges are paid by the producer to the operator for using the grid infrastructure, and metering points track the amount of electricity transferred. The contracts are regulated by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to ensure fair practices and compliance. Wheeling contracts promote competition, renewable energy growth, and energy access, contributing to the country’s sustainable development goals and energy transition

What is the worth of energy certificates?

The value of energy certificates, also known as Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) or Green Energy Certificates, can vary based on market conditions, government policies, and demand for renewable energy. Energy certificates represent proof that a certain amount of electricity has been generated from renewable sources. Their value can fluctuate depending on factors like the type and capacity of renewable energy projects, the level of demand from buyers, and any incentives or regulations related to renewable energy targets and carbon emissions reductions.

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