Jun 05, 2009
Water project to stimulate economic growthBack
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Flow|Hydropower|PROJECT|System|Water|Africa|Lesotho|South Africa|Polihali Dam|Energy|Flow|Power Generation|Power-generation|Highlands Water Commis-sion|Tugela River|Vaal|Vaal River|Infrastructure|Power|Sixtus Tohlang|Water|Mokhotlong
© Reuse this
Despite infrastructure and compensation costs that include the relocation of about 13 000 families from surrounding areas, the project seeks to invest in local development.
The Lesotho Highlands Water Commis-sion’s (LHWC’s) chief delegate, Sixtus Tohlang, tells Engineering News that thousands of nationals will be recruited for the project, while villagers from the surrounding communities will be appointed as unskilled labour.
“We will source semiskilled and skilled employees locally, and from outside the country,” he adds.
South Africa and Lesotho announced their plan to begin construction on the second phase of the LHWP late last year.
The project will ensure continuing water supply to Gauteng, as well as the rest of the Vaal river water supply area, and will involve the construction of the 165-m-high, 2,2-billion-cubic-metre-capacity reservoir Polihali dam, in the Mokhotlong district, in Lesotho.
Construction work will begin in 2011 and will be completed around 2017. Water will delivered to South Africa in 2018.
Construction of the Polihali dam will consist of a reservoir on two main rivers enclosed by a 165-m-high wall. The water from the dam will flow through a series of tunnels and through the Ash river, in the Free State, into the Vaal system, after generating hydropower at Muela, in Lesotho.
The LHWP was chosen as the preferred option to augment the Vaal system because of its low energy requirement. Water can be transferred to the Vaal river system under gravity, while water from the Tugela river would have had to be pumped over the escarpment and into the system.
The project will be funded off budget from funds borrowed from capital markets. Tenders for the project will be managed by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA), under the supervision of the LHWC. The final go-ahead for the second phase of the LHWP is subject to the conclusion of a protocol between South Africa and Lesotho.
The construction of the second phase follows feasibility studies, which began in October 2005 and were completed in May 2008. The studies assessed potential options, such as new dams, tunnel routes, pump-stations, hydropower stations and infrastructure upgrading, with the view to identifying the preferred development of the next stage of the LHWP.
From the 20-tunnel route options identified during the first stage of the study, three routes from a common intake location on the proposed Polihali dam to three separate locations into the Katse dam were chosen during stage two.
The second phase of the LHWP will increase the existing hydro-power generation capacity of the Muela hydropower station, which was commissioned under the first phase of the LHWP. This will bring substantial benefits to Lesotho, including decreased carbon emissions.
Edited by: Brindaveni Naidoo© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Water News
Updated 5 hours ago Senegal water company Senegalaise des Eaux (SDE) will look to desalination to keep supplies flowing in the rapidly growing capital city of Dakar and try to avoid a repeat of last year's shortages, the firm's chief executive said. A bustling hub for investors and aid...
Article contains comments
Updated 2 hours 25 minutes ago Information and communication technology services group Gijima on Tuesday announced that it would undertake a rights offer and restructure its existing trade receivables securitisation funding programme to ensure that it had sufficient working capital to underpin the...
Updated 3 hours ago Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has urged that the best candidates be nominated to serve on the boards of State Owned Entities (SOEs). “Help me identify your brightest and our best,” said Minister Brown as she launched an initiative to obtain the best pool of...
Updated 3 hours ago The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) has brought art and science together in an exhibition celebrating ancient humanity’s appreciation of the night sky. In a first for the SKA Organisation, indigenous and local artists from South Africa and Australia have collaborated in...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The South African new vehicle market is likely to reach around 630 000 units in 2014, down from the 650 000 units recorded in 2013, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl. Van Zyl is also president of the National Association of...
Efforts by the Kenya government to increase energy generation by 5 000 MW over the next three years received a major boost following the award of a $2-billion contract to build a coal power plant in Lamu. Despite allegations of irregular tendering process, the...
Using crafty wordplay on a well-known Internet meme, brilliant South African-born US entrepreneur and businessperson Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors would not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wanted to use its technology. Instead,...
August new vehicle sales declined by 1.4%, to 55 722 units, compared with the same month last year. Assisted by the car rental market, the South African new passenger car market, at 37 953 units, contracted by 1 047 units, or 2.7%, compared with August last year.
With South Africans facing the challenge of reducing electricity consumption, the biennial Eskom Energy Efficient Lighting Design Competition, to encourage the integration of energy efficient lighting in architectural, engineering and interior design, received a...