Johannesburg - As load shedding soars, independent power producer Karpowership-SA’s plan to generate electricity has been slowed down following a complaint by a local campaign group.
The environmental impact assessment of Karpowership-SA’s proposed project in Saldanha Bay will be reopened after The Green Connection advocacy group laid a complaint with the Department for Forestry, Fishing and Environment.
The department has halted the company’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) until an investigation had been conducted.
Karpowership-SA said it was confident the issues would be swiftly resolved. Company spokesperson Kay Sexwale said: “We have already engaged on many of the environmental concerns that have been raised and we look forward to a continued discussion of our plans.
“We are ready to produce power that may very well end this load shedding nightmare.”
Karpowership-SA said it would respond in time for a deadline on June 30 as it continued to work through deadlines set by the Department for Mineral Resources and Energy.
Independent Liberation and Allied Workers Union secretary-general Siphamandla Masimula said in the interest of ending load shedding, Karpowership-SA must be left to do its work.
“Why do we still call it load shedding when we should be calling it a blackout because that’s what it is? People are losing jobs and it’s the poor that suffer most because they can’t afford generators and other forms of alternative electricity.
“The economy is under severe pressure as it is because of Covid-19. We cannot afford this blackout any longer,” Masimula said.
Karpowership-SA was selected to provide 1 220MW of electricity to help alleviate load shedding following a tender process. Eight other projects using a range of technologies, including renewables, batteries and hybrid systems, were also selected under the 2 000MW programme.
All bidders were required to submit detailed studies as part of their bid submission processes.