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Ample water available for Medupi

Medupi power station

Medupi power station

THE item “Little water for a thirsty Medupi” (July 24) was misleading and misinformed.

The Department of Water Affairs is developing the Crocodile River (West) Water Augmentation Project (MCWAP) in phases to meet the existing and future water requirements in the Lephalale area, including the Medupi power station.

The first phase of the MCWAP is the construction of a 43km pipeline (not 100km as stated in the article) with a capacity of 30-billion litres per annum from Mokolo Dam at a total project cost of about R2.14bn (not R15b n as stated in the article).

The pipeline is under construction and water delivery will commence in June next year and will be capable of supplying Medupi with 10.9-billion litres per annum.

In the interim, water is being supplied through the existing pipeline from Mokolo Dam and is sufficient for Medupi’s commissioning requirements and six-unit operation without flue gas desulphurisation.

The Mokolo Dam’s full supply volume is 145-billion litres (not 44-billion litres as stated). The yield (water that can be sustainably supplied out of the dam on an annual basis) is 44-billion litres per annum, of which 30-billion litres per annum is allocated to Eskom, Exxaro and Lephalale municipality.

Based on the results of the department’s hydrological models, the dam will not fail in the foreseeable future.

Eskom is allocated 14.5-billion litres per annum in terms of its water supply agreement with the department, of which 3.6-billion litres per annum is for Matimba power station and 10.9-billion litres per annum is for Medupi.

Medupi power station requires a total of 15.4-billion litres per annum, based on the manufacturers’ stated water requirements for the plant being installed — 6-billion per annum is for power production and 9.4-billion per annum is for flue gas desulphurisation.

The available water in Mokolo Dam and the water allocation to Eskom are sufficient to meet Medupi’s water needs plus 52% of the flue gas desulphurisation requirements.

The second phase of MCWAP is being designed to capture large volumes of artificially augmented flows in the Crocodile River (West) to supply and facilitate significant future industrial development and growing population in the Steenbokpan-Lephalale corridor.

The artificial flows in the river occur as a result of water discharged from wastewater treatment plants (referred to by the department as “return flows”) in Johannesburg’s northern sector and also from Tshwane to the upper Crocodile River basin.

The department’s latest reconciliation strategy shows there is sufficient water in the Crocodile River basin to be transferred through the MCWAP phase 2 once implemented to meet the projected water demands, including Medupi’s full water requirement.

Medupi and the energy-related developments in the Lephalale area are not dependent on the water from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project phase 2.

Nandha Govender

General Manager: Water & Environmental Operations, Eskom

Source: BD Live

We are glad to hear that at least some waste water will be recycled to quench the thirsty Medupi.


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