Studies pave way for R1bn eThekwini water infrastructure upgrade

16 September 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202020525

Consulting Engineers & Project Management
Government & Municipal
Water & Effluent Management

BOSCH Projects and Bosch Capital - members of the Bosch Holdings group of companies – have recently completed conceptual wastewater feasibility studies and financial modelling for the eThekwini Water and Sanitation Department.

The scope of services included a conceptual level infrastructure planning exercise for the Umlazi and Umhlatuzana Catchment areas within eThekwini Municipality. The planning reports will serve as a ‘Master Plan’ for the municipality, providing a strategic motivation for bulk sanitation augmentation and infrastructure investment within these catchments over the short, medium and longer term.

Jason Holder, KZN Wastewater Divisional Manager for Bosch Projects, said the aim of the bulk sanitation/wastewater catchment studies was to present the most favourable options to best serve key areas in the short to long term.

“We also needed to assess the impact on existing and future bulk sanitation infrastructure and considered human settlement housing plans, sanitation backlog areas and future developable areas. These wastewater feasibility design studies - which involved engineering, financial, social and environmental factors – were based on a high-level approach incorporating infrastructure designed for fully-developed catchments.”

This project - with an anticipated value of over R1 billion, spans 43 000 ha - and will benefit a 1,2-million population, which comprises a backlog of approximately 280 000 people, who are currently without sanitation services.

As part of financial modelling and cost benefit analysis components for this project, capital costs were calculated for the new infrastructure and operational costs were based on actual information provided by the eThekwini Wastewater Operations Department.

A life-cycle costing approach was applied over a 20-year period and the project returns for each of the possible scenarios were compared through the use of indicators such as Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), payback and discounted payback period.

The team conceptualised a multi-criteria decision matrix, incorporating weighted scoring where applicable, to critically and transparently evaluate each of the potential scenarios. Parameters that were included in the scoring matrix included environmental, CAPEX, OPEX, Life-Cycle Costing, social benefit (backlog eradication) and alignment with the eThekwini Municipality’s strategic planning.

The Bosch Projects and Bosch Capital teams worked closely with key stakeholders within eThekwini Municipality, to obtain relevant information for future developments and guidance and approval, where necessary. They also ensured the delivery of a successful project that was well-designed to meet the client’s requirements.

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