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SA firm wins M494 million contract



MASERU – THE Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has signed a M494 million contract with a South African company for the construction of a power line.

In a statement released yesterday, the LHDA said Mkhulu Electro Distribution Projects (Pty) Ltd build a new 38km long, 132kV line between the existing Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) transmission network in the Matsoku Valley to the Polihali Dam construction site.

Mkhulu Electro Distribution Projects is a South Africa-based company with extensive experience in overhead transmission line construction and civil engineering projects in southern Africa, including in Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique.

The LHDA says the project will also include upgrading of existing LEC lines from Ha-Lejone to Matsoku, and Maputsoe to Katse.

“The upgrade comprises the installation of insulation and shielding earth conductors,” the statement said.

“The works also include the installation of optical ground wire (fibre) communication line from Maputsoe to Katse and Polihali.”
This line is intended to enhance communication at the project area.

“Investing in the extension and upgrading of the bulk power transmission network in Lesotho is not only to facilitate the implementation of Phase II alone,” the LHDA CEO Tente Tente said.

“It will also bring long term benefits to the country by increasing access to power for people and businesses in remote areas, as was the case in Phase I of the LHWP,” he said.

The project is the second of the two bulk power components of the Lesotho Highlands Development Project Phase II advance infrastructure, and is expected to be completed in two years.

In March 2019, the LHDA awarded the tender for the construction of a 33kV line and the diversion of an existing 33kV LEC distribution line to LSP Construction at a contract value of M41 million.

The 33 kV line which is built from the existing Letšeng/Mokhotlong distribution network will supply power to the Polihali construction village site, temporarily.

Sections of an existing LEC 33kV distribution network between Letšeng and Mokhotlong will be submerged in five different positions by the new Polihali Dam at full supply level necessitating the diversion of the existing line.

Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project builds on the successful completion of Phase I in 2003. It delivers water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and utilises the water delivery system to generate hydro-electricity for Lesotho.

Phase II will increase the current water supply rate from 780 million cubic metres per annum to more than 1 270 million cubic metres per annum.
At the same time, it will increase the quantity of electricity generated in Lesotho and is a further step in the process of securing an independent electricity source.

Staff Reporter

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