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Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 2 – Polihali Transfer Tunnel

Project Overview

The multi-phased Lesotho Highlands Water Project is intended to provide water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and to generate hydro-electricity for Lesotho. The project entails harnessing the waters of the Senqu/Orange River in the Lesotho highlands through the construction of a series of dams, for the mutual benefit of the two countries. Phase I of the project was completed in 2003 and inaugurated in 2004. Phase II is currently underway.

Our Role

SMEC South Africa, as a member of the Metsi a Senqu-Khubelu Consultants Joint Venture (MSKC) appointed by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA), is providing professional services for the design and construction supervision of the 38km Polihali Transfer Tunnel. Altogether, MSKC will carry out the design and construction supervision of:

  • approximately 8.3km of drill-and-blast tunnels, including intake tunnels, access adits, connector tunnels and outlet tunnels;
  • approximately 34km of tunnel-boring-machine tunnels;
  • approximately 230m of shaft sinking;
  • a lake-tap outlet into the Katse reservoir; and
  • all associated concrete work, access roads, site offices, storage /laydown areas and other related surface works and infrastructure.

Alongside our technical expertise, SMEC’s role also includes training Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) staff to operate and maintain the tunnel as part of the skills and technology transfer. This ensures the project will run effectively and efficiently for the communities it serves.

Technical Area:
Water, Dams & Tunnels
Lesotho Highlands Development Agency

Learn More

To learn more about our Hydropower & Dams capabilities please fill out the form below and one of our team will be in touch.