Ncondezi coal mine and power plant – bulk water study

Client: Ncondezi Services and Cresco Commercial Development
Location: Tete, Mozambique
Date: March 2013 – June 2013

Developing a cost-effective and sustainable strategy to supply water to operate a coal-fired power plant.

Background

Ncondezi Energy is developing a thermal coal mine and power plant in Mozambique. The 1800 MW power plant, located on the southern bank of the Ncondezi River, is proposed to provide electricity to meet the country’s rapidly increasing domestic (and export) energy demands. Staged construction is expected to begin in 2015 with the full project operational by 2018.

A number of previous studies had identified a range of options to supply water to the proposed coal-fired power plant. A consolidated study was required to consider hydropower potential, site geology, and environmental and social impacts of the water supply infrastructure. Entura was engaged to review the existing water supply options and make new recommendations.

Solution

Entura provided a multi-disciplinary team that was able to rapidly collate and assess the available engineering, geotechnical, environmental and social information, in order to recommend a cost-effective solution for the power plant’s bulk water supply that could be staged and constructed in line with implementation of the thermal power plant units.

Entura closely considered a range of seven different possible options for water supply, but ultimately recommended a series of in-stream storage reservoirs connected by water transfer pipelines with a final pumping station to transfer water to the power plant water reservoir. Storage reservoirs would be located on the Monga and Mameme Rivers which flow past the eastern and western sides of the power plant, as well as on either side of the Ncondezi River.

Outcome

Entura recommended a water supply solution that would enable staging the water supply infrastructure in conjunction with implementation of the power plant thermal units at a low capital cost. Entura’s recommended option is likely to have the least environmental impact and will have the greatest social benefit through providing a permanent and reliable water source to surrounding communities. The overall power plant project is on hold, and further work is needed to finalise the water supply solution.

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