Karpowership has plans in the pipeline buy and donate a game farm to a provincial wildlife authority in a bid to ease environmental approval for one of the three gas-fired power plants it wants to erect in South Africa.
The Turkish company has revealed that Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, which manages protected areas in the south-eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, in exchange for the game farm, has undertaken to not object to its plan for a 450 MW, ship-mounted power plant at Richards Bay harbour.
In a statement that was sent to Bloomberg, Karpowership said: “The Port of Richards Bay presents a unique circumstance where the active industrial port, used largely for coal exports, operates within an estuarine bay. Biodiversity offsetting is a form of impact mitigation.”
Forming part of Karpowership’s submission for environmental approval of the plant, the undertaking is the latest twist in a more than two-year saga in which the company has fought environmental objections and court cases opposing its plans.
The company has about 60% of a government tender in March 2021 to supply 2,000 MW to ease chronic power shortages in the country. As much as the actual target for power production for Karpowership and other winners in the tender was August 2022, none of them are up and running yet.
The company also went on to reveal that the environment department has now given it permission to continue with an appeal against a ruling that it couldn’t proceed with a plan to position a 450 MW plant at the southern port of Ngqura after a dispute with the national port operator over a mooring site.
Additionally, there are also plans for a 320 MW plant at the western port of Saldanha. Karpowership will still need to get final environmental approval and sign a power-purchase agreement with national power utility Eskom.