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Mokolo Crocodile Water Augmentation Project, South Africa

Eskom generates approximately 95 percent of the electricity used in South Africa and approximately 45 percent of the electricity used in Africa.

The company recently began construction of the new Medupi Power Station in the Lephalale area of Limpopo, which lies in the water scarce Mokolo catchment. The Mokolo and Crocodile Water Augmentation Project (MCWAP) entails the phased construction of two main bulk raw water transfer systems, as well as associated infrastructure to meet the new power station, mines, and domestic demands.

Aurecon was engaged, along with four other consultants, in a joint venture as Mokolo Crocodile Consultants, to complete a wide range of engineering services for this pivotal project, including:

  • Tender design and documentation
  • Detailed design
  • Construction supervision
  • Contract administration
  • Preparation of an environmental management plan
  • Various risk and Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) components.

The main components of the scheme are abstraction weirs, pump stations, pipelines and balancing storage.

Phase 1 comprises a 4.5MW pump station and 81km of up to 1000mm diameter pipeline delivering approximately 40 million cubic metres per annum at a rate of 1.6 cubic metres per second from Mokolo Dam. The Phase 1 infrastructure will be constructed parallel to and tying in with existing infrastructure supplying Exxaro's Grootegeluk Mine, Eskom's Matimba Power Station and Lephalale Local Municipality and will also be extended to Steenbokpan.

Phase 2 comprises a number of components, including an abstraction weir in the Crocodile River, de-gritting channels with high and low lift pump stations and a 128km of pipeline with break pressure and balancing reservoirs. The abstraction weir has a capacity of 25.5 cubic metres per second, while the estimated pump capacities for the low lift and high lift pumps will be 3.6MW and 15MW respectively, based on an initial demand of 5.4 cubic metres per second.

When completed in 2015, this project will ensure security of supply for both the surrounding communities and the power station and mines.

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