Karpowership SA to File Another EIA Appeal in January 2023

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  • Controversial Turkish gas power ship service provider, Karpowership, is planning a comeback in South Africa after their appeal for environmental impact assessment approval for all three of their gas to power projects were rejected.
  • Bloomberg reports that the company will be filing an appeal in January against the decision by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries’ (DFFE) to dismiss its environmental application. 
  • They hope for a positive outcome by April 2023. 
  • If the appeal is successful, they aim to start supplying electricity by May 2024. 

The Turkish company that controversially won preferred bidder status in South Africa’s Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme for 1200MW  floating gas power platforms in three harbour locations, are allowed to correct “perceived gaps” in their  application. 

Barbara Creecy, South Africa’s environment minister, last year dismissed Karpowership’s initial application after environmental activists lodged complaints about its impact on fishing, local ecosystems and potential greenhouse gas emissions. Read more

Related news: Ramaphosa misses the boat spectacularly in his sweeping energy reforms aimed at solving the country’s deepening energy crisis

“We respect Minister Creecy’s exercise of her powers, but we are very disappointed with the outlook especially given the time it took to make a decision,” Karpowership said in the statement. The company will refile its submission in the hope “that the process will be much timelier than it has been to date,” it said.

“South Africa needs dispatchable power now,” Karpowership said. “ We remain committed to being part of South Africa’s energy security solution and are ready to deploy our Powerships immediately.”

South Africa’s energy regulator has been taken to court for issuing generation licenses to Karpowership SA. Read more

At the time of the tender, the 20-year “emergency” deal was estimated to be worth R218 billion but, since then, the gas price has surged setting the financial viability of the projects adrift. In addition, Eskom will be expected at times to pay for nothing in a generous ‘take or pay’ provision negotiated by the country’s energy minister, Gwede Mantashe. Eskom, facing a barrage of immediate challenges which includes an extended load-shedding programme and unsustainable debt of just under R400 billion, may understandably be ‘not to keen’ to sign power purchase agreements with Karpowership SA. Read more

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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