Basic Assessment Process for the proposed Eskom Juno-Gromis 15km Powerline route deviation located near Nuwerus within The Matzikama Local Municipality, West Coast District in the Western Cape

Project Background

The power supply to the greater Cape area is mostly provided by the coal-fired power stations on the Highveld, mainly in Mpumalanga. As a result, a Transmission network from Mpumalanga to the Cape has grown over the years as demand has increased. Much of this network is now over two decades old and is approaching its peak operational capacity. In order to meet the increasing demand of electricity, Eskom proposes to import power from the 800MW Kudu Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCGT) power station at Uubvlei, 15km north of Oranjemond in Namibia. The 800MW Kudu CCGT power station will supply 200MW to Namibia and the balance will be available for integration into the South African grid.

Eskom proposes to integrate the power from the Kudu CCGT power station into the South African grid via Transmission lines from the Namibian border. A number of alternative integration options and routes have been proposed to connect to the Eskom’s Western Grid and supply the increasing demand in the Cape. This specific project forms part of the Kudu Integration project and relates specifically to the proposed 230km 400kV Juno-Gromis Transmission line which aims to enhance the supply to the Western Cape, which has been plagued by outages.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was commissioned for the proposed construction of the Eskom 400kV transmission power line, Kudu integration project in terms of the Environment Conservation Act 1989 (Act No. 73 of 1989). The study presented various alternatives and included a number of specialist studies, as a result a Record of Decision (RoD) currently known as Environmental Authorisation (EA) was issued on 6 November 2007 (Ref: 12/12/20/720). An extension for the EA issued was applied for and granted on 20 March 2014.

Subsequent to the EA issued in 2007, the negotiation process with the affected landowners resulted in the need for amendments to the proposed alignment. In 2017, a Basic Assessment Process was undertaken to apply for these amendments which received an EA in 2017 (Ref: 14/12/16/3/3/1/1679). The approved deviations included:

  • 4.1 km deviation around the landing strip in Lutzville;
  • 3km deviation within the Tronox Mine Namakwa Sands; and
  • 7.2km deviation around a mine in Kamiesberg.

There is now a need to apply for an additional deviation to the 400kV transmission powerline route which traverses Tronox Mine Namakwa Sands, which is located near Nuwerus within the Matzikama Local Municipality, West Coast District in the Western Cape.

After the receipt of favourable prospecting results, it is more feasible for Eskom to deviate around Tronox’s mining area, which will result in a proposed 15km deviation to the east of the 2017 approved deviation. The proposed 15km deviation falls outside of the 2017 EA authorised corridor, resulting in an increase in the length of the powerline. A Basic Assessment (BA) process (as it falls within a Strategic Transmission Corridor) is therefore required.

Any further comments can be submitted directly to DFFE, quoting 14-12-16-3-3-1-2333.

Zama Langa
Environmental Officer Specialised Production
Chief Directorate: Integrated Environmental Authorisation
Sub Directorate: National Infrastructure Projects
Department of Environmental Affairs
Tel: 012 399 9389
Cell: 072 146 4308

Published: 06 October 2021
Review Period:

Not applicable.

Contact Person: Mr Gregory Shaw
Tel: 046-622 2364

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