A protest held by Green Connection members.
A protest held by Green Connection members.

Environmental activists lodge complaint over use of Karpowership for three projects

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Jun 3, 2021

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Cape Town - The use of offshore power plants is back in the crosshairs of activists – this time after Turkish power company Karpowerships has been named as a preferred bidder for three projects fuelled by liquefied natural gas to provide 1220 megawatts of electricity in South Africa, over 20 years.

There is concern about the environmental impact the Karpowership may have on the fishing community and marine life at the Port of Saldanha Bay.

The Green Connection, an environmental justice NPO, has lodged a formal complaint, against Triplo4 Sustainable Solutions, with the Department of Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs regarding the Karpowerships issue.

The organisation’s Liziwe McDaid said the complaint addresses the environmental assessment practitioners’ (EAP) failure to comply with environmental impact assessment (EIA) regulations pertaining to the Karpowership project at the Port of Saldanha Bay.

Triplo4 facilitated the emergency Covid-19 exemption permit for the liquid gas powership plan, which was subsequently revoked when it materialised that there was no emergency situation for the EIA exemption.

“We call on the government to halt the Karpowership project until a proper EIA has been conducted, ensuring the continued livelihood of the fishing community and the marine environment they depend on,” said McDaid.

A protest held by Green Connection members.

Masifundise Development Trust project officer Maia Nangle said these kinds of developments were occurring all along the coastline.

“If the Karpowership project goes ahead, it will lock SA into a 20-year agreement of using liquid natural gas, where South Africa should be focusing on using more renewable energy sources and alternative forms of energy. The small-scale fishing communities in this area rely on ocean resources for their livelihoods and to be able to put food on the table,” said Nangle.

The Green Connection said “the EIA process has gone through but there just wasn’t enough public participation or community consultation involving the fishing community on the ground”.

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