Little water for a thirsty Medupi

Nick Gleason | 24 July 2013 | BDLive Opinion

I KEEP hearing rumours about Medupi, the coal-fired power station that is turning out to be the most expensive ever built anywhere. The station’s foundations are being built 50% below requirement. No, they’re not. Oh, well, the boiler foundation structure is prejudiced. When I ran a check, the answer was no, it’s not.

Which is right? Given the consistently bad news we’ve been getting about Medupi, it’s easy to shrug and assume the worst — like the latest assessment I’ve heard, that the total cost of the project, interest included, is heading towards R200bn.

What is indisputable, however, is the need to worry about the supply of water to Lephalale, where Medupi is situated. The power station, which will employ a dry-cooling method that doesn’t use evaporation to cool the water, will nevertheless require 6-billion litres of water a year without a flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) plant, and 14-billion litres a year with such a plant. Read more.

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