[South Africa] Karpowership denied environmental authorisation for development of gas to power via powerships
The South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has reached a decision on the three applications which were submitted in October 2020 by Karpowership for an environmental authorisation for the development of gas to power via powerships.
After due consideration of all relevant information presented as part of the environmental impact assessment process for all three applications in question, the authority in the department has decided to refuse the applications for the environmental authorisations.
Karpowership had proposed to locate the three powership projects at the ports of Richards Bay, Ngqura and Saldanha to generate electricity from natural gas to be evacuated through transmission lines to substations linking to the national grid. The powerships were to be assembled off-site and be delivered fully equipped and functional to the different ports.
The applications came as a response to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s requests for emergency power supply interventions linked to the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Procurement Program. The authority in the department adjudicated these applications in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) and specific sections of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations.
The final reports were submitted to the department for decision-making on 26 April 2021. The competent authority had until 25 June 2021 to reach a decision, as the three projects were classified as strategic integrated projects, which meant the fifty-seven (57) day timeframe, as gazetted in the National Infrastructure Act, applied.