The Western Cape Provincial government has authorised a sum total of R88.185 million rand from the Provincial Unforeseen and Unavoidable Reserve Fund to assist municipalities with the unforeseen and immediate impact of prolonged load-shedding on water and wastewater services.
In terms of this allocated Funding, George Municipality has received the sum of R14 220 000 (VAT included) as a contribution toward the purchase and installation of backup energy supply. This backup supply can include generators, renewable power sources, batteries and all ancillary costs associated with the installation, such as switch gear, safekeeping, caging, etc. for water and wastewater infrastructure.
This grant funding will assist the George Municipality in ensuring a healthy environment and continuing with the provision of basic services to our citizens and businesses during the current load-shedding.
The municipality is in the process of purchasing emergency diesel generators that will be placed strategically as follows:
Water Treatment Works
Haarlem WTW (+_ 150kVA diesel generator)
Uniondale WTW (+- 200kVA diesel generator)
Waste Water Treatment Works
Uniondale WWTW (+_ 200 kVA diesel generator)
Kleinkrantz WWTW (+_ 300 kVA diesel generator)
Outeniqua WWTW (+_ 1000 kVA diesel generator)
Progress to Date:
A Professional Engineering Consultant was appointed to assist the George Municipality with the design, procurement, and implementation of the backup generator units. The municipality has to date (June 2023) completed the procurement of the contractors required to construct the Generators required for Haarlem and Uniondale water treatment facilities; and Uniondale and Kleinkrantz wastewater treatment facilities. Due to the size of the Outeniqua wastewater treatment facility`s backup generator, a separate procurement process had to be followed and is underway.
It is furthermore to be noted that generator equipment in general is a long lead item, and therefore the delivery times associated therewith are very much dependent on the stock availability on same. In this regard, the major risk foreseen at this stage is a delay in timeous completion of the project because of the knock-on effect due to external factors affecting and delaying the delivery time of equipment, i.e., shipping of imported components, strikes/shutdowns, etc, as well as any delay in the Outeniqua WWTW generator tender process. In summary, the overall project progress is as follows:
Appointment of Consultant (Complete) – 100%
Appointment of Contractor:
Haarlem WTW (Complete) – 100%
Uniondale WTW (Complete) – 100%
Uniondale WWTW (Complete) – 100%
Kleinkrantz WWTW (Complete) – 100%
Outeniqua WWTW (In Progress) – 40%
Haarlem WTW (± 125 kVA diesel generator) – 20%
Uniondale WTW (± 125 kVA diesel generator) – 20%
Uniondale WWTW (± 200 kVA diesel generator) – 20%
Kleinkrantz WWTW (± 300 kVA diesel generator) – 20%
Outeniqua WWTW (± 1 000 kVA + 650 kVA diesel generator) – 0%
The total project expenditure to date (as of end of June 2023) is approximately 9,5% of the current funding allocation.
Other Load Shedding Initiatives Implemented by George Municipality:
George Municipality has out of necessity already installed large generators at 30 Sewer Pump Stations and 5 at Water Treatment Works at a cost of approximately R52 million, to keep water flowing and sewerage pump stations operational during load shedding. A further 8 are in the process of being procured at a cost of approximately R27 million rand and which includes the two 1250kVa for the Garden Route Dam. The costs of running these generators are exorbitant and currently totals approximately R148 000 per day in fuel alone at Stage 4, with the fuel costs even higher when Stage 5 and 6 are implemented.
Battery energy storage is planned for all the Water and Waste-Water Treatment Plants and the Sewer Pump stations to reduce diesel costs. The Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) deployment is being fast-tracked to save costs over the long run. Using a phased-in approach, the intention is to deploy BESS of more than 100MWh for the city. The city is currently in the process of feasibility studies for the BESS deployment, to assess the technical, environmental, economic and practical feasibility of installation and integration into the distribution network. These studies will further inform the city on the deployment strategy to undertake as it strives to reduce reliance on Eskom.
Link to further information on how George Municipality is trying to mitigate the impact of load-shedding for George. https://www.george.gov.za/what-is-george-municipality-doing-to-alleviate-eskom-loadshedding-and-other-renewable-energy-projects/