JOHANNESBURG – A new Greenpeace study has found that the little town of Kriel in Mpumalanga is the second-largest sulphur dioxide emissions (SO₂) hotspot in the world after the Norilsk smelter complex in Russia.
The study, which was commissioned by Greenpeace India and released yesterday, cited Mpumalanga as the largest SO₂ pollution hotspot in Africa with the cluster of mega power plants in Nkangala, including Duvha (3 600MW), Kendal (4 000MW) and Kriel (3 000MW) coal power stations producing mega anthropogenic SO₂ emissions between 2017 and 2018.
It said the emissions were a cause for concern.
“There are 12 coal fired power stations in the province, located just 100-200km from South Africa’s largest populated area, the Gauteng City region, posing a massive health concern. Power generation from these plants makes the Mpumalanga region the largest hotspot of SO₂ emissions from power generation in the world,” said the report.
Greenpeace India commissioned Nasa OMI satellite to conduct the report and the latter studied 500 major point sources of SO₂ emissions across the globe including natural sources such as volcanoes.