Saturday, July 31, 2021

Government forced to refurbish Morupule ‘A’

Due to the mounting pressure on power supply in the country, the government has finally sourced funds to renovate and restore Morupule A, a power plant that was shut down about two years ago.

On account of lessons learnt from Morupule B which is not working despite billions spent, Government has instructed Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) not to award any Asian company the tender to refurbish the power plant.

Morupule B was built by a Chinese company whose technical capacity has become a source of public doubt.

Government has since roped in the Germans to help salvage the plant.

Morupule A power station was shut down to the pave way for the now controversial Morupule B which is characterized by frequent break downs that have now caused a power shortage crisis.

Information reaching The Telegraph indicates government has secured millions of pula that will be spent on refurbishing the old power plant.

In a brief response, the acting BPC spokesperson Lodulo Matome confirmed that the government has found funds to refurbish Morupule A.

Although Matome was cagey with information relating to the renovation of the plant, she said the cost of the project will be determined by the tender which is expected to be awarded sometime in July this year.

The General Secretary of the Botswana Power Corporation Workers Union, Bahithetswe Lentswe welcomed the latest development.

“It is of paramount importance that the government should speed up in refurbishing the power plant as soon as possible,” he said.

Lentswe said although the old plant has about four units and each unit produces about 33 megawatts which is too small to supply the whole country, it has proven to be reliable since its installation.“One thing that the union urges the government to consider is to increase the number of units from the old plant from four to six as it was initially designed to accommodate six units.” he said.

He warned government that it should not even dream of awarding the tender to any Chinese company as they have already proven themselves to do shoddy work as evidenced by Morupule B.

“We no longer want any sub-standard or shoddy jobs in our country,” he said.

He added that the union prefers a German, British, Japanese or a South African company to be awarded the tender.

With the current power situation Lentswe indicated that the union advocates for an audit of Moruple B.

“An audit is very important as it will explain exactly what happened and help those responsible to make informed decisions; whether it unearths the unpalatable or pleasant,” he said.

Lentswe further said the government should swallow its pride and admit before the public that it erred.

He stated that currently unit one is producing about 70 megawatts while unit four is still under maintenance.

“I am not sure whether unit ne will be able to produce to its full capacity as well as unit four,” said Lentswe.

He appealed to members of the public to be patient as the engineers are doing their best to bring the situation under control.

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