THE Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has awarded a M97 million tender for the construction of the Polihali Operations Centre to the L&M Joint Venture.
The joint venture is between LSP Construction and South African company, Mofomo Construction.
The awarding of the contract follows that of two other contracts for the construction of Polihali Village and upgrades to Katse Lodge and Katse Village, which were awarded in 2021.
The LHDA this week said site establishment works had already started following the site handover earlier this month. The Polihali Operations Centre project is expected to be completed by the end of October 2023.
“This is the third of four construction contracts to be awarded which is specifically packaged to enhance the participation of small and medium-sized contractors in Phase II,” LHDA Phase II Divisional Manager, Ntsoli Maiketso said in a statement this week.
“All three contracts are part of the Phase II advance infrastructure most of which will be completed prior to the dam construction.”
The Polihali Operations Centre is a multi-storey office building with a visitors’ centre. It will also have an auditorium, conference rooms and an exhibition hall.
It will also include underground parking facilities and external works like paving and landscaping.
The LHDA said the operations centre would be used mainly to house engineers during the construction of the dam. Upon the dam’s completion, it will house the LHDA’s operations offices, the visitors’ information centre and a hub of the LHWP’s history for tourists coming to the area.
Polihali Infrastructure Consultants, comprising the South African-based Mott MacDonald PDNA (Pty) Ltd and Khatleli Tomane Moteane Architects (Pty) Ltd of Lesotho, was awarded the contract for the planning, designing and construction supervision of the operations centre in 2015.
Phase II of the LWHP builds on the successful completion of the first phase in 2003. The LHWP delivers water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and utilises the water delivery system to generate hydroelectricity in Lesotho. Phase II will increase the current water supply rate of 780 million cubic metres per annum incrementally to approximately 1270 million cubic metres per annum.
The increased water flow will simultaneously increase the energy generated by the ‘Muela hydropower plant, to help efforts to meet Lesotho’s domestic power needs.