MOLOLO AND CROCODILE RIVER WATER AUGMENTATION PROJECT PHASE 2A
The project comprises an abstraction weir, pump stations and a 160-km pipeline to transfer water from the Crocodile River near Thabazimbi to the Lephalale area. The project is a prerequisite to enable further development of the Waterberg Coalfields, as envisaged in the first Strategic Infrastructure Project of the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission. It will enable Eskom to operate an additional three flue gas desulphurisation units at the Medupi Power Station, which could not be supplied with the water available from the Mokolo Dam. The units minimise the environmental emissions from the power station, which is a condition of the Eskom’s World Bank loan. It also stipulates that the desulphurisation units should be all be fully functional by 2024.
In the 2018/19 financial year, the following progress was made.
TCTA assisted DWS to complete the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which was followed by obtaining Environmental Authorisation from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). The Environmental Authorisation was successfully issued by DEA on the 18 March 2019, and this was achieved well ahead of the projected timelines.
The conclusion of the Implementation Agreement, which is a prerequisite to raising funding was delayed, due to issues around the project size, and this impacted the ability to raise funding. Fiscal funding was only received from DWS in January 2019, which then allowed, on 18 March 2019, the appointment of the Professional Service Provider (PSP). This represented at least a 10-month delay in the project programme.
The Implementation Agreement between DWS and TCTA and the Water Supply Agreements between DWS and the off-takers were drawn up and are expected to be concluded in the 2019/2020 financial year. A request to approve the renewal of the borrowing limit and a government guarantee was submitted to the Minister of Water and Sanitation and is under consideration for the concurrence of the Minister of Finance during 2019/20 financial year.