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PAIA Requests for Environmental Records

Request to Eskom for information in relation to key documents and reports pertaining to the Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power stations

8 October 2018

Reference Number:

Copies of the following records are requested:

1. The “World Bank and African Development Bank Project Progress Report” which is compiled annually by Eskom’s Medupi Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) team. Eskom’s reference no. for the previous years in respect of the report is N-TE-460-1526. We specifically request access to any and all progress reports compiled by Eskom for
submission to the World Bank (WB) in relation to its progress on FGD installation from 2016 to the date of when PAIA response will be provided, which includes:

1.1. Report 5 compiled in 2016
1.2. Report 6 compiled in 2017
1.3. Report 7 compiled in 2018 – should Report 7 not yet be available – we request information as to when it will be published and that the document be provided once it becomes available without the need for a further PAIA request.
Please note that the Reports referred to above are those produced by Eskom and not the Implementation Support Mission (Environmental and Social), February 5 – 9, 2018 Aide Memoire produced by the World Bank.

2. Any other progress reports and/or updates relating to Medupi Power Station submitted to the World Bank and African Development Bank by/or on behalf of Eskom from 2016 to the date of the PAIA response being provided.

3. A copy of Eskom’s presentations presented to World Bank and African Development Bank during their Mission visit between June 2017 to date, in relation to Medupi Power Station’s FGD progress and time schedules; environmental compliance issues; social and coal supply issues; as well as any minutes of meetings.

4. Records of any feedback; assessments; or additional requirements imposed by and received from the World Bank and/or African Development Bank in respect of Eskom’s progress and obligations in relation to Medupi Power Station from 2016 to date of PAIA response being issued, including:

4.1. Any reports recording the progress of the Medupi power station;
4.2. Any complaints received in relation to the progress of the power station during the period 2017 to date of PAIA response being provided; and
4.3. Any report(s), issued after 2016 to the date of PAIA response, in terms of the Regional Environmental and Social Assessment of Coal-Based Energy Projects along the Botswana-South Africa Border.

5. With regard to the Supervision Mission Report (January-February 2017 Eskom Investment Support Project Environmental and Social Aide Memoire), there were various follow-up actions – with specific timeframes – in respect of Medupi’s FGD installation, water supply arrangements and its MES postponements. We therefore request detailed information pertaining to Eskom’s commitment and progress with regard to the below-mentioned (and any other committed) timeframes; reasons for and nature of the delay and new proposed deadline (if applicable):

5.1. Detailed designs of process package (absorber island) – October 2017;
5.2. Detailed designs buildings and civil works – October 2017;
5.3. Environmental Authorisation – April 2018;
5.4. Commencement of Construction – April 2020;
5.5. Provide detailed milestone of the Water supply arrangements for Medupi – March 31, 2017;
5.6. Finalise planning reports on the water supply arrangements for Medupi based on transfer capacity of 75 million m3/annum and on revised borrowing limit approval – April 2017;
5.7. Obtain concurrence from Minister of Finance for the Water supply arrangements for Medupi for approval of borrowing limit – March 2017;
5.8. Secure Project Financing for the Water supply arrangements for Medupi – April 2018;
5.9. Application to register EIA with DEA – April 2017;
5.10. Environmental authorisation completed – December 2017;
5.11. Commence construction – June 2019;
5.12. Water delivery – June 2023; and
5.13. Operation of coal analyser – September 2018.

6. With regards to Eskom’s Minimum Emission Standards, in the January-February 2017 Eskom Investment Support Project Environmental and Social Aide Memoire, the Mission questioned the rationale and justification for Eskom applying for further postponements. The Mission suggested the option of lime injection before FGD installation to curb the SO2 emissions, if Eskom was concerned about the high sulphur content of the Coal obtained from Grootgeluk mine. In light of the above, please provide us with the status and details of the follow up actions required by the Mission in particular:

6.1. An indication of whether Eskom is able to meet these committed deadlines;
6.2. An indication of whether Eskom intends continuing with the MES postponement application for Medupi in light of the Mission Report;
6.3. Lastly, whether Eskom considered the lime injection option proposed by the Mission, and what is the progress in implementing the lime injection option;;
6.4. According to the 2018 World Bank Aide Memoire Report, the WB recommended against further MES postponement in respect of its SO2 emissions as a solution to tackle the emission problem. WB requested Eskom to make serious efforts to comply with emission standards including finalising the on-line coal analyser among others. Please provide information related to the measures put in place by Eskom from February 2018 to date of PAIA response to meet the emission standards, including the additional proposed measures discussed with WB.

7. With regards to the Medupi’s FGD retrofit:

7.1. The Technical Study report of 2018 attached to Medupi’s Final Environmental Impact indicated water savings as a result of operating the plant at different temperatures. Kindly provide the exact quantity (not percentages) of water saved per annum and/or for the duration of the lifecycle of the FGD, if Eskom were to use FGD with inlet cooler, with the plant operating at 90 degrees Celsius, and 100 degrees Celsius – in comparison to operating a wet FGD;
7.2. The Technical Study report of 2018 mentioned that several overseas plants were visited which informed their decision not install the FGD with an inlet cooler. Any and all notes, memorandas, reports, documents and minutes pertaining to the site visits; any correspondence and documents provided by the overseas plants to Eskom regarding the FGD;
7.3. Latest DWS hydrological report on MCWAP in Eskom’s possession;
7.4. Eskom’s 2014 study on limestone quality as well as documents on the overview of the geology, and sampling data from of the limestone sources, confirming that the quality was consistent with the studies; and
7.5. Eskom’s gypsum commercialisation strategy and/or presentation, 2017.
7.6. Gypsum analysis from Kusile and the waste classification information or report, as well as any updated assessments on ash and gypsum usage.

8. Any information and documents (including agreements; permits or authorisation from applicable national and provincial authorities; application of aforementioned permits and authorisation) related to the supply of coal from Medupi to other Eskom power plants in South Africa from 2016 to the date of PAIA response.

9. Any information and documents such as board meeting minutes, plans and strategy reports pertaining to Medupi plant, Medupi FGD retrofits and Medupi MES postponement application including the financing thereof, from July 2017 to the date of the PAIA response being provided.

10. Any information and documents such as board meeting minutes, plans and strategy reports pertaining to Medupi’s environmental compliance from 2017 to date of PAIA response. This includes DEA’s compliance inspection report from the inspection which took place on 7-8 2017, Eskom’s response on 3 July 2017 and DEA’s response which was provided to the World Bank, as mentioned in paragraph 24 of the World Bank Aide Memoire.

For further information please email [email protected].