Advocacy group The Green Connection says it has lodged a formal complaint with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) over one of the environmental impact assessments submitted by Karpowership SA.
In March, the Turkish-owned powership operator was a named a preferred bidder in a multibillion-rand Department of Energy initiative to fast-track new power production.
Karpowership SA, and other bidders, still have to receive environmental approval from the DFFE before they can begin construction. The DFFE is currently reviewing their environmental impact assessments.
The Green Connection, a nonprofit group, lodged a complaint with the department in late May. It argued that Karpowership SA failed to conduct a "specialist study" of the potential consequences of underwater noise generated by the powerships at the port of Saldanha Bay.
"There is currently not enough information pertaining to underwater noise and vibration levels from floating power plant ships, in the context of the Port of Saldanha Bay, to indicate the impact," said the group's Strategic Lead Liziwe McDaid.
It has asked the DFFE to withdraw Karpowership SA's environmental impact assessment for Saldanha Bay until a report has been completed.
Karpowership SA's environmental assessors, Triplo4, submitted the group's final environmental impact assessments for the ports of Richards Bay, Ngqura and Saldanha Bay in late April.
The reports for the three harbours, including that of Saldanha Bay, found that the projected impact on marine ecology would be "low".
However, as Fin24 previously reported, they called for more research on the impact of underwater noise in the marine environment.