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Two Karpowerships stopped in their tracks, and 1 limping away

On 10 March 2023, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) issued a media statement confirming that they had issued a records of refusal for the Port of Ngqura, had suspended the application for Saldanha Bay and a third (Port of Richards Bay) had had been willingly withdrawn by the Environmental Assessment Practitioner, for the Karpowerships applications.

The Karpowerships have been dubbed as the answer to South Africa’s electricity crisis and had proposed to be located in three ports, Richards Bay, Ngqura and Saldanha. Effectively, these vessels would to generate electricity from natural gas and would be linked to the national grid for power.

The significance of the media release from DFFE is that, various discreancies have been revealed during the environmental authorization process, from the EAPs allegedly misleading the Authorities by misrepresenting stakeholders, to ignoring port concerns and processes saying that the increasing power into the national grid is of national interest and thus trumps port operations going forward.

Click here to read the full media release by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE).

The Daily Maverick have extensively covered the applications of the Karpowership, read two of the recently published articles:

10 March 2023: Three Karpowership EIA applications refused, withdrawn or suspended halting company’s gas-to-electricity plans in SA

14 March 2023: ‘Misleading’ claims and Transnet fear over harbour space derail Karpowership plans for now

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