MSKC wins M900m Polihali contract

MSKC wins M900m Polihali contract

MASERU – METSI a Senqu-Khubelu Consultants (MSKC), a joint venture between a Lesotho company and four other South African firms, has won a M900 million contract for the design and supervision of the Polihali water transfer tunnel.
Water Affairs Minister Samonyane Ntsekele (pictured) made the announcement yesterday at a meeting where local businesses wanted to know how they will get their share of the cake.

MSKC is a venture between the Lesotho based FM Associates (Pty) Ltd and Aurecon South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Hatch Africa (Pty) Ltd, Knight Piesold (Pty) Ltd and SMEC South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Sub-consultants include two Lesotho firms, S5 Construction Consultants and White Life Consultants (Pty) Ltd, together with the South African ILISO Consulting (Pty) Ltd.

These consultants are expected among other things to review the existing project information and preparing preliminary design of the transfer tunnel, tender design for tunnel construction, construction design and drawings.
They are also expected to train the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) staff to operate and maintain the tunnel as part of the skills and technology transfer element of the project.

Ntsekele said the appointment of these firms is a significant milestone in the implementation of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). “MSKC joint venture combines local and international tunnel experts, well qualified to deliver on the brief within the timeframe and to the highest standards,” Ntsekele said.

The proposed transfer tunnel will be approximately 38km long with a nominal bore of five metres.
It will transfer water by gravity from Phase II’s Polihali reservoir in Mokhotlong into the Katse reservoir in Thaba-Tseka for eventual delivery to South Africa via the existing transfer scheme.

The construction of the tunnel is expected to begin in 2020 and be completed by the end of 2025.
This second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project will ensure a “reliable water supply to South Africa by 2025, and progressively increase the current supply rate of 780 million cubic metres per annum to 1 270 million cubic metres per annum”.

“It will also increase the quantity of electricity generated in Lesotho to meet domestic power requirements,” Ntsekele said.
This contract is by far the biggest following the awarding of a M445 million contract to Matla a Metsi Joint Venture in June last year.

Lemohang Rakotsoane

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