LYMA consulting engineers clinches $32.9m water project deal

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LYMA consulting engineers clinches $32.9m water project deal
Wide angle photo of the Katse dam wall in Lesotho

LYMA Consulting Engineers is part of a consortium that was awarded the contract for the design and construction supervision of the Polihali Dam. The tender was awarded in terms of the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water ProjectLYMA Consulting Engineers (LHWP).

The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA), Chief Executive Officer Refiloe Tlali revealed earlier on this week that LYMA had been given the contract which is the highest award to date in the bi-national project.

The Matla a Metsi consortium is a joint venture which includes LYMA, GIBB (Pty) Ltd and Mott MacDonald Africa (Pty) Ltd (both from South Africa) and Tractebel Engineering SA/ Coyne et Bellier from France. YMA reportedly holds 18% of the shares in the consortium.
According to Ms. Tlali the joint venture is expected to review project information and all it entails. She further added the contract was expected to be completed in the next 18 months.

The LHWP project entails harnessing the waters of the Senqu/Orange River in the Lesotho highlands through the construction of a series of dams for the mutual benefit of the two countries. Phase I of the LHWP, consisting of the Katse and Mohale dams, the ‘Muela hydropower station and associated tunnels was completed in 2003 and inaugurated in 2004. Phase II of the LHWP is currently in progress.

The water transfer component of Phase II comprises an approximately 165m high concrete faced rock fill Dam at Polihali downstream of the confluence of the Khubelu and Senqu (Orange) Rivers and an approximately 38km long concrete-lined gravity tunnel connecting the Polihali reservoir to the Katse reservoir. Other Phase II activities include advance infrastructure and the implementation of environmental and social mitigating measures.

The hydropower component of Phase II, which is currently under further feasibility studies, may include a pumped storage scheme, conventional hydropower such as the expansion of the ‘Muela infrastructure or new greenfield sites. Its exact form will be determined on completion of the further feasibility studies. Phase II is expected to be substantially complete by the end of 2024.

She said the dam impoundment process was expected to take place during the rainy season in 2023 so that water transfer to South Africa would commence at the end of 2025.

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