South Africa’s environment department said on Thursday that it had refused applications by Karpowership for environmental authorisations for three gas-to-power projects.
In March, the government selected three Karpowership projects among preferred bidders in an emergency power tender.
A company that lost out subsequently challenged the tender results in court, and environmental activists have expressed opposition to the Karpowership projects.
“The competent authority in the department has decided, after due consideration of all relevant information … to refuse the applications for the environmental authorisations,” the environment department said in a statement.
Karpowership has blamed what it called a “misinformation campaign funded by special interests” for the department’s decision to block the project. It said the “campaign” runs counter to the department’s “strategic plan to end load shedding and address South Africa’s economic and energy crisis”.
“Karpowership SA, with its three projects, will provide 800 000 South African homes with cleaner, reliable, and affordable power, and South Africans should understand that the decision on behalf of the (department) threatens the delivery of this power and will extend load shedding for years to come.
“Karpowership SA conducted a robust public participation process, met all South Africa’s stringent environmental requirements, and is confident that it will win the appeal against this decision.” — Reported by Alexander Winning, (c) 2021 Reuters with additional reporting (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media