The national power utility company – Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has said that it has resumed remedial works on one of the units (4) of the embattled power station – Morupule B.
BPC’s new Chief Executive – David Kgoboko told journalists on Monday that as part of efforts to reduce the number of power cuts experienced nationally, the corporation have embarked on some projects including the remedial works at Morupule B,
“The Morupule B Defects Remedial Works have started. Works on Unit 4 which was the first unit to undergo remedial works are nearing completion”, Kgoboko said on Monday.
The troubled Morupule B plant has been fraught with problems since inception. The power station was supposed to be an answer to Botswana’s chronic power shortages but is yet to operate at full capacity since it was commissioned in 2014, with only two units operating at most. The Botswana government rejected the defective plant after the contractor tried to hand it over and has since instructed the contractor in 2019 to fix the plant.
The contractor, China National Electric Engineering Company (CNEEC SBW), clinched the $970 million (P10.6 billion) contract to build the 600MW Morupule B power station in 2010, with the completion date set for 2012. However, the project took longer than expected, and ten years later, the country’s biggest coal powered station still needs some remedial work to make it fully functional. However, the outbreak of the coronavirus has been singled as the biggest risk to fixing the power station in the scheduled period, threatening to extend the struggling power plant’s woes.
On Monday Kgoboko said once completed, the remedial works at Morupule B are expected to significantly improve availability of the Power plant.
He further revealed that the corporation is also investing in a Smart Grid project. “This will improve customer service in respect of efficient fault detection and supply restoration”, Kgoboko said.
It is anticipated that The Smart Grid will also provide remote crediting of meters on purchase of prepaid electricity.