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Wolf in not-so-cheap Clothing – Karpowerships

While the the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change report released on 26 Oct 2022 found the world on track to see emissions rise by more than 10% this decade if we don’t adjust our outputs, Turkish Karpowership group is hastily revisiting its public consultation and approval process for gas-to-power supply ships. 

Please see its venues organised by consultancy group Triplo4 Sustainable Solutions below. The revised Draft DEIA is due for publication and will be open for comment from 10 Nov – 13 Dec (We are not in receipt of it yet – 31/10/2022). ONO has requested the Virtual Meeting link and will place it here once received. Consultation venues are here:

Karpowership’s slippery ‘emergency’ (conceived in 2015) power procurement project intends docking methane storage and powerships at three South African harbours – Saldanha, Coega and Richards Bay with a combined generation of 1,220MW of electricity, after an additional shore based infrastructural build.

Beyond future existential costs to global warming by added methane emissions and leakage being locked in, fundamental concerns remain:


  • Karpowerships conducted an irregular bid process hoping to be exempted from the mandatory EIA and public participation process.
  • Last minute amendments to the tender process meant Karpowerships were exempt from complying with the 40% local content requirement.
  • DFFE reported Karpowerships changed an EIA report before submission, without consulting stakeholders.
  • Environmental approval was refused by DFFE because Karpowerships failed to meet minimum requirements for proper public participation and noise impact studies.


  • The contract involves a 20-year tie in.
  • Policy advisers to the South African energy team at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Richard Halsey and Richard Bridle note that the Karpowership projects “ expected to burn imported liquified natural gas (LNG)—are contracted to provide 50% of maximum output, meaning they would be paid for operating 12 hours a day“ . This means that instead of gas being only used when lower-cost and lower-carbon generators fall short of meeting electricity demand, Karpowerships are intended for using gas for bulk supply of electricity.
  • Even prior to the surge in fuel prices due to the Russia/Ukraine war Dr Jarrad Wright, a senior Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) engineer, showed the ships would cost between R8-billion and R10.9-billion annually – potentially reaching a bill of R218-billion. This project will always be vulnerable to these tariff risks.


  • Noise impact assessments show impermissible levels of noise in the vicinity of the ships, for a wide range of species including humans.
  • Coega is the largest breeding ground of the endangered African penguin (about 35% of the global and 42% of the South African population) and the world’s largest population of Cape gannets.
  • Both Richards and Saldanha Bay are critical nursery area for bird species and many commercial fish upon which Small Scale Fishing co-ops are reliant.
  • Ongoing heated seawater discharges from the ships could increase water around the ships by 15°C.

Below you’ll find their scant background information for each port and contact info.

Mark any queries to : Mrs. Hantie Plomp /or associated colleagues of Triplo4 Triplo4 Sustainable Solutions

SALDANHA BAY: 032 946 3213 / 073 746 0992

RICHARDS BAY: 073 610 1973
Ballito: Douglas Crowe Drive,
The Circle, Suite 5

PORT OF NGQURA /COEGA: 032 946 3213 / 073 317 0154
Ballito: Douglas Crowe Drive,
The Circle. Suite

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