The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is inviting suitably qualified individuals to submit expressions of interest to serve on its Engineering Panel of Experts for Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The project includes the construction of a 38km long, 5m diameter water transfer tunnel, by both TBM and Drill & Blast.
The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is a multi-disciplinary, multi-phase, bi-national project undertaken by the Governments of the Kingdom of Lesotho and of the Republic of South Africa in accordance with a Treaty signed between the two countries in 1986. The Project scope includes a concrete-faced rockfill dam (CFRD) 165m high, the 38km long water transfer tunnel, a road bridge over 500m long and 100m high, and all associated enabling infrastructure (roads, bridges, power supply, telecommunications, site establishment, operators facilities).
LHDA intends to appoint an engineering Panel of Experts (PoE) to independently verify, determine and assure that all the physical components of the Project are designed and constructed to provide the most functional, economical and cost effective structures, consistent with internationally recognised standards. The duty of the PoE is to provide technical advisory services to enable LHDA to effectively fulfil its quality assurance and risk management function during the implementation of the Project by:
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- Reviewing technical criteria, designs and reports submitted by engineering consultants
- Assessing construction methods and programmes proposed by the consultants and contractors
- Reviewing construction progress and performance against designs and specifications
Therefore at least one expert in each of the following disciplines is anticipated:
- Design and construction of major bridges
- Design and construction of concrete-faced rockfill dams (CFRDs), including hydraulic structures
- Tunnelling and tunnel structures (design and construction) for water and hydropower projects
- Geology and geotechnical engineering
- Mechanical and electrical engineering for water and hydropower projects
- Construction and contract law for major civil engineering projects (this may be an individual or a firm with one or more practicing professionals who specialize in this discipline)
The LHDA now invites eligible persons to indicate their interest in providing the services. Applicants shall be fluent in English and possess:
- Appropriate and relevant qualifications combined with extensive practical experience
- Professional accreditation with appropriate and regionally- or internationally-recognized institutions
- Over 25 years’ experience within the specified field and publication of at least 5 technical papers that were published internationally or presented at international conferences
- Experience on similar PoE assignments will be a significant advantage. In addition, experts shall meet specific requirements as below:
- Bridge expert shall have over 20 years’ experience in the design and construction supervision of bridges, including structures greater than 400m long and 100m high
- CFRD expert shall have over 20 years’ experience in the design and construction supervision of bulk water infrastructure including CFRD exceeding 140m in height
- Tunnelling expert shall have over 20 years’ experience in the design and construction of tunnels at least 4m diameter, including water transfer or hydropower tunnels in hard rock, excavated by tunnel boring machine and by drill and blast methods
- Geology and geotechnical engineering expert shall have over 20 years’ experience in the investigation, analysis, design and construction of excavations, foundations and tunnels for major civil engineering projects, including experience of construction in basalt rock
- Electro-mechanical expert shall have over 20 years’ experience in the design, manufacture and installation of large hydraulic control equipment (gates, valves, penstocks) and small hydropower equipment
- Construction and contracts expert shall have over 20 years’ experience in construction of heavy civil engineering projects, including the procurement and contract administration of major works (e.g. dams, tunnels and major bridges) of at least USD 250 million, under the FIDIC ‘red book’ form of contract. Prior experience as the FIDIC Engineer would be an advantage.
Qualified persons are requested to provide CVs clearly demonstrating that they meet the above criteria. Persons employed by firms already engaged under any engineering contract on LHWP Phase II are not eligible for appointment on the PoE. Any potential conflict of interest should be declared with the application.
Clarifications may be requested by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Electronic submissions (in .pdf or other unalterable format) are requested on or before 19 March 2018 at 15:00 local time with the subject-line “EOI for LHWP2 Engineering Panel of Experts” to the email address indicated above. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interviews and negotiations.
The LHDA recently awarded the contract for designing and supervising the construction of the Polihali water transfer tunnel, the largest of all the Phase II engineering design contracts, to the Metsi a Senqu-Khubelu Consultants (MSKC) joint venture. Work on the approximately M900M design and construction supervision contract commenced in December 2017.
“The appointment is a significant milestone in the implementation of Phase II,” commented Mr Samonyane Ntsekele MP, the Lesotho’s Minister of Water. “The MSKC joint venture combines local, regional and international tunnel experts, well qualified to deliver on the brief within the timeframe and to the highest standards.”
MSKC comprises Lesotho-based FM Associates (Pty) Ltd, and South African firms Aurecon South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Hatch Africa (Pry) Ltd, Knight Piesold (Pty) Ltd and SMEC South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Sub- consultants include White Life Consultants (Pty) Ltd, Lesotho; S5 Construction Consultants, Lesotho; and ILISO Consulting (Pty) Ltd, South Africa.
The consultant’s scope of services includes reviewing the existing project information and preparing the preliminary design of the transfer tunnel; preparing the tender design for the construction of the tunnel, tender drawings and tender documents; supporting the LHDA through the contractor tender and contract award process, preparing construction design and drawings, and providing contract management services during the construction of the tunnel.
Training LHDA staff for the purposes of operating and maintaining the tunnel is part of the skills and technology transfer element of the project. The project also makes provision for the training of Young Professionals.
The 38km transfer tunnel will transfer water by gravity from Phase II’s Polihali reservoir in the Mokhotlong district into the Katse reservoir for eventual delivery to South Africa via the existing transfer scheme. Construction of the tunnel is expected to commence in 2020 and to be completed by the end of 2025.
Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project builds on the successful completion of Phase I in 2003. It delivers water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and utilises the water delivery system to generate hydro-electricity for Lesotho. Phase II will ensure a reliable water supply to South Africa by 2025, and progressively increase the current supply rate of 780 million cubic metres per annum to more than 1 270 million cubic metres per annum. At the same time, it will increase the quantity of electricity generated in Lesotho and is a further step in the process of securing an independent electricity source to meet Lesotho’s domestic requirements.