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Big Developments in Lesotho:
The 'Muela Dam: A Hydroelectric Marvel
 Location: Muela Dam is situated in a narrow V-shaped gorge on the Nqoe
River, Lesotho (around 1.6 km north of Muela village) (Power Technology, 2024)
 Developed by: Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) (Power
Technology, 2024).
 Aim: to provide water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and generate
hydro-electricity for Lesotho. (Hydropower and dams, 2022)
Summary of the 'Muela Dam
Muela Dam location on the map
 Hydro Reservoir Capacity: The hydro reservoir
capacity is 6 million cubic meter. (Power Technology,
2024)
 Arch Structure: It is a 55 m high double curvature arch
structure forming the tail pond of the 'Muela Hydropower
Station (Orasecom, 2013).
 Generates 51% of the country’s annual electricity
requirements (Orasecom, 2013).
Key Features of the 'Muela Hydropower Station
Overall view of ‘Muela Hydropower project with
dam under construction, retrieved from
https://www.icevirtuallibrary.com
Community Benefits
 Job creation for citizens (Water Power Magazine, 2010)
 Skills development (Water Power Magazine, 2010)
 Local empowerment (Water Power Magazine, 2010)
Construction Dates
• Commencement date: March 1994
(Water Power Magazine, 2010)
• Project completion: 6 August 1998
(Water Power Magazine, 2010)
Muela HydroPower Station construction, retrieved
from https://www.doe.gov.ls/post/view/64
Developments
Increased Electricity Supply
- 72 MegaWatts (MW) of hydropower
generation (Water Power Magazine, 2010)
- Reduced reliance on other sources (Water
Power Magazine, 2010)
Job Creation
- Construction of jobs for Basotho (Water Power
Magazine, 2010)
- Increased income and development
opportunities (Water Power Magazine, 2010)
Infrastructure Improvements
- Upgraded roads and communication networks (Water Power Magazine, 2010)
- Benefits beyond dam construction (Water Power Magazine, 2010)
Muela Transfer Tunnel
 The 'Muela Tunnel is a 45-kilometer-long conduit that links the Katse Reservoir
with the Hydropower Station at 'Muela in the Butha-Buthe region (Wikipedia,
2024).
 Along its length, there are five ventilation shafts. These shafts serve two
essential purposes (Wikipedia, 2024):
1. Natural Ventilation: They assist in maintaining airflow during
inspections.
2. Air Escape: They allow trapped air to escape, ensuring smooth tunnel
operation
Hydropower Generation
 The 'Muela Tunnel plays a pivotal role in supplying water to the 'Muela
Hydropower Station (Water Power Magazine, 2010).
 This underground power station, situated approximately midway between the
Katse Dam and the Outfall in South Africa, accommodates three turbine
generators, each rated at 24 Mega Watts (MW) (Water Power Magazine, 2010).
 Water from the Katse Reservoir travels through the 45-km-long concrete-lined
transfer tunnel (with an inner diameter of 4.35 meters), ultimately feeding the
'Muela Hydropower Station (Water Power Magazine, 2010).
 Water from the Katse Dam is transferred via a 45-kilometer-long concrete-lined
transfer tunnel to the 'Muela Reservoir (Wikipedia, 2024).
 The 'Muela Reservoir acts as the tail pond, supplying water for hydroelectric
power generation in Lesotho (Wikipedia, 2024).
 From the 'Muela Reservoir, water flows through a 37-kilometer delivery tunnel to
the outfall at the Ash River (Wikipedia, 2024).
 The Ash River then feeds into the Vaal Dam in South Africa (Wikipedia, 2024).
Water Supply
References
Hydropower & Dams: “Muela Hydro Plant in Urgent Need of Unit 1 Repair.” [Hydropower & Dams.] Available at:
https://www.hydropower-dams.com/news/muela-hydro-plant-in-urgent-need-of-unit-1-repair/ (Accessed on April 22, 2024)
International Water Power. (June, 2010). “An African success story”. [Water Power Magazine].
https://www.waterpowermagazine.com/projectprofiles/projectprofilesan-african-success-story/ (Accessed on April 22,
2024)
Orange–Senqu River Basin Infrastructure Catalogue. ORASECOM Report 001/2013. Available at:
https://wis.orasecom.org/content/study/UNDP-GEF/InfrastructureCatalogue/Documents/Reservoirs/Muela%20Dam.pdf
(Accessed on April 22, 2024)
Power Technology. (January, 2024). “Muela Hydro Power Plant, Lesotho.” [Power Technology]. https://www.power-
technology.com/data-insights/power-plant-profile-muela-lesotho/?cf-view (Accessed on April 22, 2024)

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Big developments in Lesotho Butha-Buthe.

  • 1. Big Developments in Lesotho: The 'Muela Dam: A Hydroelectric Marvel
  • 2.  Location: Muela Dam is situated in a narrow V-shaped gorge on the Nqoe River, Lesotho (around 1.6 km north of Muela village) (Power Technology, 2024)  Developed by: Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) (Power Technology, 2024).  Aim: to provide water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and generate hydro-electricity for Lesotho. (Hydropower and dams, 2022) Summary of the 'Muela Dam Muela Dam location on the map
  • 3.  Hydro Reservoir Capacity: The hydro reservoir capacity is 6 million cubic meter. (Power Technology, 2024)  Arch Structure: It is a 55 m high double curvature arch structure forming the tail pond of the 'Muela Hydropower Station (Orasecom, 2013).  Generates 51% of the country’s annual electricity requirements (Orasecom, 2013). Key Features of the 'Muela Hydropower Station Overall view of ‘Muela Hydropower project with dam under construction, retrieved from https://www.icevirtuallibrary.com
  • 4. Community Benefits  Job creation for citizens (Water Power Magazine, 2010)  Skills development (Water Power Magazine, 2010)  Local empowerment (Water Power Magazine, 2010)
  • 5. Construction Dates • Commencement date: March 1994 (Water Power Magazine, 2010) • Project completion: 6 August 1998 (Water Power Magazine, 2010) Muela HydroPower Station construction, retrieved from https://www.doe.gov.ls/post/view/64
  • 6. Developments Increased Electricity Supply - 72 MegaWatts (MW) of hydropower generation (Water Power Magazine, 2010) - Reduced reliance on other sources (Water Power Magazine, 2010) Job Creation - Construction of jobs for Basotho (Water Power Magazine, 2010) - Increased income and development opportunities (Water Power Magazine, 2010) Infrastructure Improvements - Upgraded roads and communication networks (Water Power Magazine, 2010) - Benefits beyond dam construction (Water Power Magazine, 2010)
  • 7. Muela Transfer Tunnel  The 'Muela Tunnel is a 45-kilometer-long conduit that links the Katse Reservoir with the Hydropower Station at 'Muela in the Butha-Buthe region (Wikipedia, 2024).  Along its length, there are five ventilation shafts. These shafts serve two essential purposes (Wikipedia, 2024): 1. Natural Ventilation: They assist in maintaining airflow during inspections. 2. Air Escape: They allow trapped air to escape, ensuring smooth tunnel operation
  • 8. Hydropower Generation  The 'Muela Tunnel plays a pivotal role in supplying water to the 'Muela Hydropower Station (Water Power Magazine, 2010).  This underground power station, situated approximately midway between the Katse Dam and the Outfall in South Africa, accommodates three turbine generators, each rated at 24 Mega Watts (MW) (Water Power Magazine, 2010).  Water from the Katse Reservoir travels through the 45-km-long concrete-lined transfer tunnel (with an inner diameter of 4.35 meters), ultimately feeding the 'Muela Hydropower Station (Water Power Magazine, 2010).
  • 9.  Water from the Katse Dam is transferred via a 45-kilometer-long concrete-lined transfer tunnel to the 'Muela Reservoir (Wikipedia, 2024).  The 'Muela Reservoir acts as the tail pond, supplying water for hydroelectric power generation in Lesotho (Wikipedia, 2024).  From the 'Muela Reservoir, water flows through a 37-kilometer delivery tunnel to the outfall at the Ash River (Wikipedia, 2024).  The Ash River then feeds into the Vaal Dam in South Africa (Wikipedia, 2024). Water Supply
  • 10. References Hydropower & Dams: “Muela Hydro Plant in Urgent Need of Unit 1 Repair.” [Hydropower & Dams.] Available at: https://www.hydropower-dams.com/news/muela-hydro-plant-in-urgent-need-of-unit-1-repair/ (Accessed on April 22, 2024) International Water Power. (June, 2010). “An African success story”. [Water Power Magazine]. https://www.waterpowermagazine.com/projectprofiles/projectprofilesan-african-success-story/ (Accessed on April 22, 2024) Orange–Senqu River Basin Infrastructure Catalogue. ORASECOM Report 001/2013. Available at: https://wis.orasecom.org/content/study/UNDP-GEF/InfrastructureCatalogue/Documents/Reservoirs/Muela%20Dam.pdf (Accessed on April 22, 2024) Power Technology. (January, 2024). “Muela Hydro Power Plant, Lesotho.” [Power Technology]. https://www.power- technology.com/data-insights/power-plant-profile-muela-lesotho/?cf-view (Accessed on April 22, 2024)