Karpowership has obtained government approval to berth its ship-mounted gas-fired power plants in three South African ports to supply the country with electricity. The move comes after Karpowership won three-fifths of a lucrative tender to supply emergency power in 2021. However, the plans for one of the ports, the southern Ngqura facility, are facing opposition from port operator Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), which wants to use a berth there for a liquid bulk terminal. A dispute could delay or even derail the project, as the process of finding a new location for the ships would require an environmental impact assessment that could take up to eight months to complete. In addition, the duration of the emergency power contracts with Karpowership and other winners of the tender is also set to be shortened amid protests by environmentalists, although no formal discussions have started on the matter.
While Natural Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana are keen to use Karpowership’s power ships, there is a debate among ministers about the need for additional energy sources in South Africa. Record-breaking blackouts have highlighted the need to address the country’s power shortages. The initial costs of the Karpowership projects were calculated at a time when gas prices were lower and could be amortized over a longer period. Reducing the length of the contracts could appease environmentalists, but it would also raise the cost of electricity produced. Karpowership declined to comment on the developments.
Tags: Karpowership,Power Ships,South Africa,Turkey