Karpowership's plan to park three large ships in Coega harbour has been derailed - for now. Not for environmental reasons, but because Transnet wants to build a new liquid bulk terminal in the same harbour space.
Documents published by Minister Barbara Creecy's national department of environmental affairs reveal that the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) remains strongly opposed to the Karpowership plan (in its current form at Coega) because TNPA already has permission to build a new terminal as part of its harbour expansion plans.
The new liquid bulk terminal (Berth A 100) was authorised in 2014 - and its location corresponds exactly with the space that would be occupied for the next 20 years by Karpowership vessels.
Karpowership's Coega vessels layout plan (left) correlates exactly with Transnet's plans for a new liquid bulk terminal Berth A 100 (right). (Images: Transnet and Karpowership)
The "direct conflict" came to light when the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment (DFFE) confirmed on 10 March that it had refused to authorise Karpowership's latest application following a protracted environmental impact assessment (EIA) process.
The official record of decision published by Creecy's senior officials shows that (during the extended EIA process) TNPA wrote to Karpowership...