Consulting services sought for Maguga hydropower projects in Eswatini

Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC), the state vertically integrated power utility of the Kingdom of Eswatini, has issued a Request for Proposals (RfP) for technical assistance advisory consultancy services for the expansion of the existing 20 MW Maguga hydropower plant on the river Nkomati as well as development and construction of a new hydropower plant downstream of the Maguga Dam.

The proposed projects, which could increase local generation capacity by up to 30 MW and decrease dependence on imported power, will optimize the river’s hydropower potential and ensure that some of the excess water, which normally spills during the rainy seasons, is used to generate power.

Bids from qualified consultants are sought by 28 October to provide advisory, owner’s engineering and project management consulting services. The consultant will be required to provide institutional capacity to EEC for the effective planning, organization, technical and financial management and execution of all project activities including procurement of EPC contractors, supervision of construction of all civil, electromechanical and electrical works, and monitoring of the overall implementation, monitoring, and reporting of safeguards aspects such as Environmental and Social Management Plan, Labour Management Procedure (LMP), Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP), Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), as applicable. Initially the consultant will appraise the project to determine the studies that must be carried out to bring the project to bankability including appraisal of the feasibility study report to check and identify any gaps on the technical and financial aspects of the report and review the terms of reference prepared by EEC to conduct the full ESIA and ESMP.

The objectives of the consulting services shall be to ensure that the project succeeds in securing project funding and is implemented on schedule, on time and within budget, in accordance with the specifications and drawings of the EPC Contract, within acceptable environmental and social standards and in accordance with local environmental legislations and lenders’ policy requirements.

A desktop reconnaissance study carried out in 2007 identified a site downstream of the existing Maguga station to have potential for the development of another plant, resulting in the EEC commissioning a feasibility study in 2018. In addition, the study also considered the addition of an extra unit at the current site of the station. The feasibility study established that both the Maguga Expansion and Lower Maguga hydropower schemes are technically and economically feasible.

The proposed Maguga Hydropower Expansion Project, which would increase installed capacity by an additional 10 MW to 20 MW, will entail the construction of a new reinforced concrete surface powerhouse, equipped with generating equipment, dewatering bay, and associated infrastructure, as well as an extension to the existing switchyard and installation of a new transformer. The proposed Lower Maguga Scheme would involve the construction of a 6.6 km-long canal to convey water to a new power station with installed capacity of around 10 MW and a re-regulating pond at Meleti. Discharge from the turbines is to be released downstream into a second regulating pond formed in the river by means of a concrete weir, located 1.3 km downstream of the new powerhouse. The Lower Maguga project would entail the construction of:

(i) A new intake structure at the existing regulating weir, fitted with screens and control gates, leading to the concrete lined power canal;

(ii) A 6.6 km-long concrete lined power canal;

(iii) An integrated head pond and power intake with screened intake and a bulkhead gate;

(iv) Two high pressure surface penstocks, supported on plinths, to serve the two generation units;

(v) A surface powerhouse located at the end of the high-pressure penstocks. The powerhouse will be a reinforced concrete substructure, equipped with dual Francis’s turbine and generating sets, dewatering bay, and associated equipment. A steel superstructure will house the loading bay for the turbines, generator sets and the transformers. A travelling crane will be positioned over the powerhouse chamber for the installation and removal of the turbines, generators, and main inlet valves;

(vi) A tailrace structure;

(vii) A downstream concrete dam wall to form a regulating pond, similar to the existing regulating weir below Maguga dam, and

(viii) Two 66kV step up transformers, switchyard and a transmission line to the nearest interconnection point.

The Request for Proposals can be downloaded at or

Bids should be delivered no later than 11.00 am on 28 October in a sealed envelope to EEC Head Office, Eluvatsini House, Mhlambanyatsi Road, Mbabane, Eswatini, clearly marked as follows; “RFP 018 of 2022/23 Technical Assistance Advisory Consultancy Services for the Development and Construction the Maguga Hydropower Projects”. Documents should be submitted with proof of payment of the Lilangeni (SZL) 1000 tender fee. Proposals may be sent by courier, or hand delivered. All enquiries may be addressed to no later than the 20 October.

For further information, contact: Bongani Chauke, Procurement Manager, Eswatini Electricity Company, P.O. Box 258, Mbabane, H100, Eswatini

Tel.: +268 2409 4165

Fax: +268 2404 1470