Managing and Mitigating Environmental Risks at Medupi - Case Study

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Courtesy of NCC Environmental Services (Pty) Ltd

The 4800 MW coal-fired Medupi power station in the Lephalale area of Limpopo Province is one of the largest construction projects in South Africa’s history.

During the six-year construction period, there will be 38 main contractors and 100-300 sub-contractors on site at any given time, employing up to 12,000 people at the peak of construction.

NCC was appointed at the beginning of the project in 2007 to provide the Environmental Control Officer function for Medupi. This involves monitoring compliance with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) Record of Decision that allowed the project to go ahead, as well as compliance with environmental legislation, and the projects’ Environmental Management Plan.

We report directly to the Environmental Monitoring Committee as well as to national and provincial government departments. We also maintain important site records including the public complaints register, non-conformance register, audits register and a daily site diary.

We also advise on and assist with:

  • Raising awareness and understanding of local and global environmental issues
  • Environmental best practice
  • Reducing waste production
  • Using energy, water and resources efficiently and ensuring that what is used is sustainably produced.
  • Liaising with outside stakeholders about environmental issues on site. Stakeholders include the DEA, the Limpopo province Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, financial institutions and the public.

Medupi aims to have an ISO14001 Certified Environmental Management System applicable to the site as a whole, thus becoming one of the few mega projects worldwide to achieve project certification during the construction phase.

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