Eskom is to go ahead with the construction of a new Port Elizabeth electricity sub-station, transmission lines and upgrading of two existing sub-stations irrespective of whether a decision is taken to construct Nuclear 1 at Thyspunt.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project has been submitted to the National Department of Environmental Affairs, Eskom stating that the project had been “necessitated by the immediate critical need for Eskom to supply power within the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and its surrounding jurisdiction”.
The EIA documentation states that the new sub-station will be situated between Despatch and KwaNobuhle, while the two 400kV transmission power lines will link it to Eskom’s existing Grassridge and
Dedisa transmission sub-stations.
The Grassridge and Dedisa sub-stations are to be upgraded.
The project initially formed part of the environmental impact assessment for Nuclear 1 that is expected to be submitted to the department by the end of this year or early next year, according to the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA).
The proposed power lines, which are now part of the separate EIA, are required for the transmission of power generated by Nuclear 1 to other parts of the Eastern Cape.
The department, however, stated that it would not be possible to issues authorisation for part of the project saying it could not make “an informed decision on the proposed power lines connecting to the Thyspunt sub-station as it had not yet been decided upon in terms of the environmental impact assessment process”.
As a result was decided to split the project in order to provide power to Nelson Mandela Bay and allow it “to meet the growing need for power generation in the municipality”.
Splitting the project would allow for “the immediate construction of the Port Elizabeth sub-station and associated power lines to the existing Grassridge sub-station.
In addition, the documentation states, it would also “avoid anticipated delays that might be caused by issues pertaining to the proposed nuclear power station at Thyspunt”.
(Source: Metro Minutes firstname.lastname@example.org )