Up to 101 669 jobs could be created during the first five years of construction of the Limpopo Eco-Industrial Park (LEIP), which Eco-Industrial Solutions (EIS) CEO Deshika Kathawaroo on Monday said would “fundamentally change” the Limpopo province’s contribution to South Africa’s strategic development goals.
The LEIP, which is located in the border town of Musina, in Limpopo, aims to be Africa’s first economically viable, zero solid waste eco-industrial park, and will redefine how eco-industrial parks can be developed in South Africa and across the continent.
The project will see an investment of about R10-billion during the construction of basic infrastructure, with a further R5-billion a year estimated to flow into the region during the initial operational phase.
At the signing ceremony on Monday, it was explained that the eco-industrial solution will not only ensure a viable sustainable water supply for the LEIP but will also provide ‘Blue Drop’ status drinking water to the Musina municipality.
The park has been designed to promote viable industrial development, featuring an integrated nature reserve, two residential co-estates, the country’s first plasma gasifier, syngas clean-up, State-owned Eskom power connected from two independent sources for security of supply, a zero-sulphur diesel plant, and ammonia, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate plants.
Sustainable value chain management, Kathawaroo noted, will be applied throughout, which will ensure that the LEIP significantly contributes to the socioeconomic development of the Musina municipality, the province and the country.
She further elaborated that the LEIP may also include a water supply project. The intention is to raise about R1.5-billion by the end of October, after which the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the project will start.
A second project at LEIP will be State-owned Transnet’s Intermodal Terminal Facility, which will look at raising about R35-million by the end of October in order to complete the bankable feasibility study.
Thereafter, an additional R500-million will need to be raised by the end of March next year for EPC work to start on the project.
Commenting on the Transnet Intermodal Facility project, Transnet Freight Rail COO Lloyd Tobias highlighted that the project is a key aspect of Transnet’s plans to spend over R21-billion over the next seven years, which will increase the rail capacity on the export coal line.
Once these projects are complete, the LEIP infrastructure will be completed in collaboration with small, medium-sized and microenterprises.