Strike disruptions on a water project in South Africa, contracted to global infrastructure development firm Aveng Group, will push back the job's completion for yet another three months. Previously, the project was delayed for a year.
Aveng Group subsidiary Grinaker LTA has said the labor disruptions related to worker pensions and benefits at the Mokolo Crocodile Water Augmentation Project contributed to a $9-million drop in company profits for the six months that ended last December.
The project, which is being implemented by South Africa-owned Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, entails the phased construction of two main bulk raw-water transfer systems as well as associated infrastructure to meet the demands of a new power station, mines and domestic needs. The project will supply 30 million cu meters of water annually.
Grinaker is laying a 43-kilometer pipeline to convey the water to the Medupi Power Station, which is being constructed by South Africa's largest power utility, Eskom. The station has six units, with a gross nominal capacity of 800 MW each.
Eskom announced the delay of the project, which was initially set for completion in September 2013, because of the strikes.
“Project teams from the contractor and employer are managing the expected fallout due to the demobilization of labor by engaging the labor and interested stakeholders,” Eskom said.
The power utility said 97% of the pumping station is complete and some 10.3 km of pipeline has been installed.
The engineering consultants include a joint venture of the South African firms Goba, PD Naidoo & Associates and Vela VKE; the Johannesburg office of Australia-based Aurecon; and WorleyParsons, New South Wales, Australia.
Last month, Aveng noted in reporting results that its revenue rose 11% due to activity on a number of large projects in Australia and Asia.
But according to a published report in South Africa, it also faces large project-related claims in Australia that some analysts see as a big underlying risk.