Construction World

The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) today announced the Matla a Metsi Joint Venture as the successful bidder on the design and construction supervision of the Polihali Dam, one of the two main water transfer components of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Work on the approximately R445-million project is expected to commence in July.

LHDA appoints Polihali Dam consultantRefiloe Tlali, CE of the LHDA, confirmed that the pre-qualification process had achieved its objective of yielding a shortlist of well qualified firms for the dam design while maintaining free competition amongst the bidders. “We are confident that the Matla a Metsi team has the capability, skills and experience, and depth of resources to undertake the engineering design and construction supervision of the Polihali dam,” she added.

The joint venture, which combines Lesotho, South African and international experts, comprises GIBB (Pty) Ltd, Mott MacDonald Africa (Pty) Ltd (both from South Afrca), Tractebel Engineering SA and Coyne et Bellier (France), and LYMA Consulting Engineers (Lesotho).

The scope of services includes reviewing the geotechnical and other project information, the engineering design of the Polihali Dam and appurtenant structures, the procurement of construction contracts and supervising the construction on behalf of the client. Skills development and technology transfer to Lesotho and South African nationals and the training of LHDA staff for the purposes of operating the dam are important components of the consultancy contract.

The Polihali Dam comprises a 164 m high concrete faced rock fill dam (CFRD) on the Senqu River, a 50 m high CFRD saddle dam, a concrete side-channel spillway, a free standing compensation outlet tower and appurtenant works.

The design period will take approximately eighteen months followed by the procurement of the construction contractor. The dam construction is expected to commence in December 2019 or January 2020. The dam is envisaged to be impounded during the wet season of 2023.

Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project builds on the successful completion of Phase I in 2003. It delivers water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and utilises the water delivery system to generate hydro-electricity for Lesotho. Phase II will increase the current supply rate of 780 million cubic metres per annum incrementally to more than 1 270 million cubic metres per annum. At the same time, it will increase the quantity of electricity generated in Lesotho and is a further step in the process of securing an independent electricity source to meet Lesotho’s domestic requirements.

About

The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is multi-phased, multi-billion Maloti/Rand project between the governments of the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa.

It comprises water transfer and hydropower generation components with associated ancillary developments. The water transfer component entails the construction of dams and tunnels in Lesotho, enhancing the use of water from the Senqu (Orange) River and its tributaries by storing, regulating, diverting and controlling the flow to effect the delivery of specified quantities of water to South Africa, and utilizing the delivery system to generate hydro-electric power in Lesotho.

The major works of Phase I included the construction of the Katse Dam, the transfer and delivery tunnels, ‘Muela Hydropower Plant and the Mohale Dam. The Phase II water transfer component comprises a dam at Polihali and a gravity tunnel that will connect the reservoir at Polihali with the Katse Reservoir. The envisaged hydropower component will comprise the Kobong Pumped Storage Scheme, or a similar scheme. The implementation of the hydropower generation scheme is subject to agreement on the outcome of a further feasibility study which is currently underway.

The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) is the implementing and management authority for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, on behalf of the government of Lesotho.

For additional information, please visit www.lhda.org.ls

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