Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How State Could Have Spent Our Money Better

By giving the green light for Phase 2 of the Midlands Dam during the last 5 years. Phase 1 cost USD 60 million (Rs1.8 billion) and took Lahmeyer International 3 years to build. That increased our water storage capacity by 40% in 2003. Phase 2 would have added another 17 million cubic metres or 20% more. That would have set us back by about Rs1.2 billion or 25% of the amount the STC claims it lost on hedging but it would have reduced frustration levels and saved a few billions in lost economic output this year alone.

But we have to understand that government was busy ripping us off with abusive retail energy prices and broadcasting dumb propaganda. Plaisir quand tu me tiens...


Anonymous said...

Was there ever a phase 2 for Midlands dam? I never heard of that, was this in the initials plan you mean?

akagugo said...

Ahem, if you permit me to put this project in perspective with respect to the local jargon, Lahmeyer was the "Consultant", the "Contractor" was the French 'DTP Terassement - Bouygues TP', and the Ministry of Public Utilities was the "Client / Employer".

The physical construction was done by "DTP Terassement - Bouygues TP", while Lahmeyer International's role was 'only' the "Review of feasibility study, Hydrological studies, Tender design, Pre-qualification process, Establishment of tender documents, Bid evaluation, Construction design, Construction and installation, supervision, Training of personnel", as stated on its website, and financed in part by the state of Mauritius, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.

At the time, it was one of the largest construction projects in Mauritius and received adequate coverage in the water and dam engineering press.

The EIA report on the impact of Midlands Dam was done by Gibb. For those who are curious about the contents of an EIA report (the notorious Environmental Impact Assessment which is given such an excessive importance when things go wrong but which no-one cares to read when it is freely available before approval...:-)) have a look at what it says on the visual impact of Rivière des Anguilles Dam or that of Bagatelle Dam and how previous experiences help in refining the decision-making and design processes.

akagugo said...

@ Anonymous of January 26, 2011 4:41 AM:
"Was there ever a phase 2 for Midlands dam?"
Yes Sir/Ma'am, as metionned here at page 261 or here. But official sources have forgotten about it, presumably after squeezing research budgets that prevent the fruition of reasearch topics of strategic importance like this. Or maybe because after complaining about a reduction of about 12 GWh in hydro-power potential in 2003, CEB is now keen again about hydro-power and pushing for one of its hydro-turbines at Bagatelle...
Who knows, in Dodoland, the land of about-turns...?