World Bank to send technical team to investigate Morupule B
by Jerry Bungu
The World Bank country director for Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, Asad Alam, who was visiting Botswana, told journalists in Gaborone on Friday that as one of the funders of the Morupule B Power Plant, he was not happy with the way the project was being managed.
Alam said a technical team from the World Bank will be in Botswana next week to investigate irregularities in project management and implementation.
“We take the issue seriously and we want high standards of project management to be observed,” said Alam.
The World Bank poured in P931 million into the project and its failure is a concern to the Bank.
The project has been dogged by failures to deliver power according to schedule.
In a press release BPC said Unit 1 of the power station was connected to the BPC system on 27 February 2012 and disconnected on 2nd March 2012. It was again put on stream on 12th March 2012 followed by a reliability test.
The Unit has been able to generate 150 MW but was disconnected from the grid to allow for the integration of Morupule B to the grid. This outage ran from 15th April 2012 to 5th May 2012.
“Following the transmission grid outages to enable the integration of Morupule B Plant, Unit 1 was connected for the third time on the 8th May 2012 and was shutdown on the 10th May 2012. Excessive high temperatures caused a mixture of coal, ash and limestone in some parts of the boiler to form a hard and rocky material, which rendered the boiler inoperable. Under the circumstances, a shutdown was inevitable. Remedial measures have been taken to avoid recurrence,” BPC said.
Unit 2 was connected to the BPC system on 21st May 2012 however before reliability test was started it was shutdown on account of a leak in one of the water heating sub-systems which started on 26th May.
“Commissioning of Unit 2 recommenced on 23rd June 2012 and is currently connected to the BPC system generating up to 150 MW. It should however be understood that as the unit is being commissioned, there will be times when it will be disconnected from the grid,” BPC said.
The completion of the plant is way behind and fingers are pointing at China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC) the company implementing the project. The plant is supposed to deliver 600 MW by the end of the year.