Construction work on Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project is set to start soon.
This follows the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) awarding the first construction contract on the project – the R235-million contract for the Polihali north-east access road – to the Sinohydro/Nthane Brothers joint venture (JV).
The contractor is expected to be on site by the start of November, which will mark the start of Phase 2’s six-year construction period.
The JV comprises South African-registered Sinohydro and Lesotho-registered, Maseru-based Nthane Brothers. The JV will establish offices on site for the implementation of the project.
Phase 2 of the LHWP comprises the construction of the Polihali dam and transfer tunnel, hydropower generation, social and environmental programmes.
The Polihali north-east access road project entails the upgrading of the existing 16-km-long gravel road to a Class A surfaced road. The road, which runs from the town of Mapholaneng in north-eastern Lesotho and the Polihali dam site, will provide access to the dam site for construction vehicles and improve ease of movement for communities in the surrounding areas.
Construction is expected to take 20 months.
The Polihali north-east access road is one of the critical advance infrastructure components of Phase 2, the majority of which must be completed prior to the construction of the main Phase 2 works.
Meanwhile, the LHDA has also awarded the contract for the design, supply and installation of the authority’s temporary site offices and accommodation units at Tlokoeng, Mokhotlong, to a firm that combines Basotho and South African companies, the Senqu Hi-Way Partnership.
Work on the contract has started and is expected to be complete by June 2019.
The Tlokoeng site offices and accommodation contract is one of several advance infrastructure contracts, such as those for the feeder roads, resettlement housing, the construction of the Polihali Village and ancillary public service facilities, that are vital to the project and that present substantial opportunities for participation by emerging enterprises.
The scope of work includes the design, manufacture, delivery and installation of fit-for-purpose, insulated, prefabricated offices and accommodation units, including recreation facilities.