DFFE decision on Karpowership environmental impact assessment (EIA) applications

10 March 2023


The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) has issued a record of refusal on one of the applications for environmental authorisation (EA) for the proposed three Karpowership-SA projects.

The application for the second project has been withdrawn by the environmental assessment practitioner (EAP) and the third application has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into the environmental processes.

Two decisions in relation to the Karpowership-SA projects proposed for the Ports of Ngqura and Saldanha Bay and the acknowledgment of the withdrawal of the report for the Port of Richards Bay were made by the competent authority on 7 March 2023.

All information relevant to each of the applications was thoroughly assessed in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).

The applicant had proposed to locate the three powership projects at the ports of Richards Bay, Ngqura and Saldanha to generate electricity from natural gas to be evacuated through transmission lines to substations linking to the national grid.

The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy, issued appeal decisions for all three projects on 1 August 2022 to remit the applications back to the competent authority so that the various gaps in the information and procedural defects in relation to the public participation process that led to the rejection of the EA applications may be addressed during the reconsideration and re-adjudication of the applications.

The EIA reports for all three projects were resubmitted on 9 January 2023 for decision-making.

Details of the three applications for EA are as follows:

Port of Richard’s Bay: The EAP submitted a letter to the department on 2 March 2023 to withdraw the final environmental impact assessment report dated 6 January 2023.

The withdrawal is based on an urgent application by the EAP for condonation to comply with regulatory timeframes in terms of Section 47C of NEMA submitted to Minister Creecy on 24 February 2023. This application is currently under consideration. 

Port of Saldanha: On 6 March 2023 the competent authority received correspondence from “The Green Connection” alleging suspected non-compliance with regulation 13 of the EIA Regulations by the appointed EAP. As a result, the application has been suspended by the competent authority so that the veracity of the allegations can be probed. Letters have been issued to the EAP for Karpowership-SA and to The Green Connection.  The decision on this application will be based on the outcome of the investigation.

Port of Ngqura: This application for an environmental authorisation was refused on 7 March 2023.  The record of refusal is attached hereto.

Access relevant documents here » EIA and EA for the proposed Gas to Power Powership Project,

For media enquiries contact:
Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871


Editor’s note:

The applications for environmental authorisation were a response to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s requests for emergency power supply interventions linked to the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Procurement Program. Karpowership-SA has been identified as a preferred supplied of emergency electricity within the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP).