Key infrastructure project clears important milestone

Staff Writer

 

The all-important Mokolo Crocodile River (West) Water Augmentation Project Phase 2A (MCWAP-2A) has cleared an important milestone with the commencement of the detail design phase.

 

TCTA has appointed GBN JV as its professional service provider on the project it is implementing on behalf of the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation.

 

The JV, which comprises Gibb, Bigen Africa Services and Nyeleti Consulting, will be responsible for the design and supervision of the project. It will execute detail design, prepare construction tender documentation, oversee construction and manage the project close-out phase.

 

The appointment followed a competitive bidding process.

 

The MCWAP-2A project is a water transfer system from the Crocodile River, west of Thabazimbi, to the demand area in Steenbokpan and Lephalale linking to the Medupi Power Station and Exxaro Grootgeluk Mine points of supply. It will include a river management system.

 

MCWAP-2A will significantly increase water supply to an area that is already teeming with economic development opportunities. Lephalale is part of the northern mineral belt that sits in the Waterberg region of Limpopo.

 

To unlock the economic potential of the region, the government has identified water, rail, and energy generation and transmission infrastructure as key. Upgraded water supply is required to satisfy the needs to social, commercial and incidental users, and the agricultural sector.

 

Future water users include possible new mines and independent power producers.

Demand growth expected to continue unabated into the foreseeable future including among the existing large water users. Exxaro plans to expand its mining operations while Matimba and the still-under-construction Medupi power stations are forecast to need increasing volumes of supply.

 

The two power stations are coal-fired and must implement Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) technology within the near future to remove sulphur dioxide (SO2) from emissions. The technology requires use of copious amounts of water but are needed for compliance with national emissions standards and the World Bank’s pollution mitigation guidelines for solid fuel-fired power plants.

 

The World Bank is a part funder of Medupi and it is condition of the financing agreement that FGD be implemented.

 

The rising economic activity and a growing population have escalated water stress in the Lephalale Local Municipality. The limited availability of water puts in jeopardy the government’s plans to stimulate economic growth in the area for the benefit of local population, the region and the country at large.

 

As part of the National Infrastructure Plan, the government is implementing one of its 18 Strategic Integration Projects (SIPs) in the area. This SIPs comprise catalytic projects that aim to fast-track economic development and growth in various places across the country.

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