The Komati Water Scheme Augmentation Project (KWSAP) is essentially an extension of the VRESS system. The project entails water supply to Eskom’s Duvha and Matla power stations in Mpumalanga. It will augment the Komati Water Scheme from the Vaal Eastern subsystem (VRESAP) for the sole benefit of Eskom. The additional yield is expected to be 57 million m3 per annum.
The KWSAP comprises the construction of:
- an additional pump station at the Rietfontein Weir with a total flow rate capacity of 2,16 m3/s;
- a 1 100 mm nominal-diameter steel pipeline from Rietfontein Weir to the Duvha Power Station over a distance of 58,4 km; and
- an 800 mm nominal-diameter steel pipeline from Rietfontein Weir to the Matla Power Station reservoir over a distance of 12,9 km with a flow rate capacity of 0,474 m3/s.
Loan agreement negotiations with Nedbank, DBSA, RMB and ABSA were concluded and signed by both TCTA and the lenders. A Commercial Paper Programme was registered with the Registrar of Banks. The project has achieved a long-term credit rating of AA+. The total outstanding debt on facilities amounted to R751 million as at 31 March 2012. Most of the funding is sourced from the local financial markets and a local Development Finance Institution. TCTA expects debt on Komati Water Scheme Augmentation Project to peak at R1 800 million in 2013 and be repaid in 2033.
Engineering and construction
BKS (Pty) Limited was appointed as the Professional Services Provider for the design and construction supervision in the previous financial year. The prequalification of construction contracts was completed in March 2010. The prequalified entities were invited to tender for the construction contracts. The construction contract was awarded to SSCC Pipeline Joint Venture, consisting of Steffanutti Stocks, Cerimele Construction Company (Pty) Limited and Cycad Pipelines at a value of R604 million in December 2010, with a construction commencement date of 10 January 2011.
A change in pipeline route triggered the legal requirement to conduct an amendment application process. Supporting specialist studies were conducted on the new route alignment. An amended environmental authorization was received on 25 May 2010 and the Construction Environmental Management Plan was approved. Baseline studies on vegetation, wetland habitats, dust, water quality, noise and traffic were completed. Environmental performance criteria were integrated into the infrastructure design and contract specifications for the tender documentation. An Environmental Control Officer was appointed and mobilised prior to construction. This preconstruction work enabled site establishment and construction activities to commence without any significant environmental challenges.
TCTA seconded one engineer-in-training and one environmental trainee to BKS for a technology/skills transfer programme which includes mentoring, such that the trainees can attain professional accreditation at the end of the contract.
Enterprise development, preferential procurement, employment and skills development and training
The construction contract includes socio-economic development targets that promote the following legislative objectives:
- Enterprise development – which is aimed at developing a minimum of two enterprise development beneficiaries.
- Preferential procurement – which promotes procurement of services and goods from black-owned enterprises, women-owned enterprises and local enterprises.
- Employment targets – 100% recruitment of unskilled personnel and 80% of black semi-skilled
- personnel from the local communities. Employment opportunities created on this project are estimated to peak at 350.
- Skills development and training – this include training of local unskilled and semi-skilled labour. A total of more than 0,1% the of the contract amount has been set aside for this purpose.