More about the WBHO Metalong Lesotho Project

Background and objective

The objective of the Second Phase of Water Sector Improvement Project is to support the Kingdom of Lesotho in: (i) developing and sustaining an environmentally sound, socially responsible, and financially viable framework for the Metolong Dam and Water Supply Program (MDWSP); (ii) increasing the quantity of safe, bulk water supplied to Teyateyaneng; and (iii) strengthening institutions and related instruments in the water sector. There are three components to the project. The first component of the project is environmental and social management of the MDWSP. This component will finance activities aimed at addressing environmental, social and cultural heritage protection in accordance with the MDWSP environmental and social management program. These activities fall under three broad sub-components – environmental, social, and governance communications. The second component of the project is engineering and transmission line to Teyateyaneng. This component will support the water supply works program through: (i) the construction of an estimated 28km of transmission mains to supply the town of Teyateyaneng with water from the Metolong reservoir; and (ii) financing the position of engineering manager within the MDWSP implementing agency. The third component of the project is institutional support. This component will build on phase one of the Water Sector Improvement Project (WSIP), continuing to support the Commissioner of Water (COW) in policy analysis and capacity building assisting in the implementation of measures outlined in the 1999 water policy, the water and sanitation policy of 2007, and the water Act of 2008, while also providing support to the Lesotho Electricity Authority to strengthen capacity to assume responsibility for the regulation of urban water supply services

The Objectives of the Project are:

  1. To provide revenue to Lesotho by transferring water from the catchment of the Senqu/Orange river in Lesotho to meet the growing demand for water in the RSA’s major industrial and population centres.
  2. To generate hydro-electric power for Lesotho in conjunction with the water water transfer.
  3. To promote the general development of the remote and underdeveloped mountain regions of Lesotho, while ensuring that steps are taken to counteract any adverse effects which the  Project might have on the local population and their environment.
  4. To provide the opportunity to undertake ancillary developments such as the the provision of water for irrigation and potable water supply.

Phase 2 will also include a pump storage scheme to generate 1 200 MW, associated transmission lines and appurtenant works, by utilising the existing Katse Reservoir as the lower reservoir and a new upper reservoir in the Kobong Valley, or any other similar scheme close to Katse Dam. The pump storage scheme will start generating electricity in January 2018. The estimated cost of the pump storage scheme at 2010 price levels is R7 600 million and will be borne by Lesotho. Lesotho is now seeking a Power Purchase Agreement from Eskom and other large users in the region for the excess power that could be generated. Construction of this dam and related infrastructure will guarantee the desired level of water availability in Gauteng and the Vaal River water supply region in the most cost-effective manner. In parallel with waterconservation measures in the Vaal River, it will influence the improvement of water quality and curb illegal water use. Phase 2 water delivery is expected to come on line from June 2020. The new phase will be funded off-budget, meaning funds will be borrowed from financial markets. Apart from being a lifeline for South Africa’s economic nucleus, the Lesotho Highlands Water Project is a prime example of what can be achieved when neighbouring countries join forces and work towards a common goal.

Spect Industrial’s Part

See data sheets for the materials used: