- The investigation stems from an extraordinary authorisation in June 2020 – just before the tender was announced – by a top official in the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE).
- The investigation could result in criminal charges, but could also torpedo Karpowership’s environmental authorisations, which it needs for its mammoth R225-billion deal with Eskom to go ahead.
In March, the Turkish-led consortium was selected as a preferred bidder to provide 1,220MW of emergency power under the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMI4P). The electricity will come from gas-fired powerships which are intended to be moored in the ports of Richards Bay, Coega and Saldanha. Read more
The official exempted Karpowership under an emergency provision of Nema from doing environmental impact assessments (EIAs), supposedly because it would provide emergency power to help combat Covid-19.
The department revoked the exemption after an outcry, claiming it had been misled. This forced Karpowership to reapply, this time with complete EIAs for all three sites. But the DFFE has confirmed that these new applications could be denied if the investigation confirms that Karpowership and its consultants intentionally misled officials.
Read more of this exclusive story from the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism HERE