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Karpowership faces second environmental complaint in SA

That could slow or upend its plans.
Image: Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images

Karpowership, which is seeking to supply South Africa with 1 220 megawatts of electricity from three ship-based power plants, is facing a second complaint from environmental activists that could slow or upend its plans.

The Centre for Environmental Rights, a group of lawyers, filed a complaint to South Africa’s environment department on behalf of groundWork, an activist group, asking for the approval process to be halted in two of the three locations — Richards Bay and Ngqura– where the ships could be moored.

The complaint adds to an earlier one filed by the Green Connection that led to the approval process being halted in Saldanha Bay.

groundWork, which confirmed the document seen by Bloomberg, said the three applications by Karpowership were very similar and the presence of the ships could harm sea life and ecosystems.

Karpowership said it wasn’t immediately aware of the complaint.

The mooring of the power plant in Richards Bay could threaten mangrove swamps and estuaries where prawns spawn and juvenile fish congregate while Algoa Bay, where Ngqura lies, is one of the world’s four Whale Heritage sites, groundWork said.

Read: SA’s R218bn Karpowership deal faces scrutiny

Read: Emergency power fiasco compounds SA’s energy crisis

Read: Mantashe denies corruption in electricity feud

© 2021 Bloomberg

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Well done The Centre for Environmental Rights and groundWork! If no-one kicks against this obviously compromised and dubious “solution” to the failure of Eskom, it will slide through under the carpet.

All the issues that are now hampering the process, should have been covered in the tender specifications. The relevant state departments were either too lazy or to incompetent to draw up a comprehensive tender specification. To first award the tender and then try to sort out the detail, is a recipe for disaster. One may not necessarily be currupt, but a poor tender specification will make you look corrupt, because of all the fancy footwork you have to do to cover the loopholes. The success of any tender process lies in the work done before the tender is advertised. If you do not know or respect that principle, you will just have to live with the self inflicted pain.

Can a journalist file to know the identity / identities of the powership lenders?

We the public (their clients or potential clients) would like to let the lenders know that we take a dim view of choosing to do business with the powerships and Mantashe. Reputational risk and all that…

End of comments.

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