Construction of Phase 2 of the Lesotho water project will begin next year. This is following the advertisement of the first of 20 tenders earlier on this week. Phase 2 comprises of a wide range of small and large contracts. Furthermore, Lesotho Highlands Development Agency (LHDA) Divisional Manager of Phase 2, Tente Tente, says several more tenders will undergo circulation between now and mid-2019.
The Polihali north-east access road is one of the first advanced infrastructure components to go to tender. The tender was advertised at the end of September and the bids should meet the deadline of December 17.
The LHDA states that preference will be given to Lesotho nationals and South African nationals. Professionals from the Southern African Development Community region will also undergo consideration. International bidders are subject to conditions on quality, competitiveness, transparency and cost effectiveness.
Tente said that the first quarter of 2018 will mark the start of a six-year construction period for the second phase of the project. The majority of the advance infrastructure components is to reach completion before the construction of the main Phase 2 works. This includes the Polihali dam and transfer tunnel.
The water transfer component of Phase 2 of the LHWP will cost US $1.7m at completion in 2025. The project also entails a hydropower component. The LHDA states that skills and technology transfer are set in in the locating and contract documents.
At the height of the construction period, Phase 2 will provide employment for between 2 000 and 3 000 Basotho. Phase 2 will increase the current supply rate of 780-million cubic metres a year incrementally to more than 1.26Bn cubic metres a year.