powering gas

South Africa: Supreme Court of Appeal to consider Eskom Richards Bay gas case

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on May 17, 2023 04:00

 © REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

The dispute over Eskom’s proposal to build at 3,000 MW gas-to-power plant at Richards Bay will go to South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).  

Civil society organisations the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and groundWork have been given permission to appeal to the SCA, the groups said on 16 May.  

Eskom secured environmental authorisation for the power plant in December 2019. The Pretoria High Court dismissed an application by the civil society groups against the authorisation in October 2022, and in January this year refused leave for an appeal to the SCA. That prompted the civil society groups to apply directly and successfully to the SCA for the right to appeal.

The plant would be fuelled by gas via a pipeline to be installed from a terminal at the Richards Bay port. SDCEA and groundwork argue that that consideration of the environmental impacts of the proposal and consultation of affected communities were both inadequate. Construction on the project has yet to begin.

The groups argue that the impacts

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