The Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila, has confirmed that the contactor of the recently failed Morupule B power station, the President of China National Electric Engineering Company (CNEEC) is expected in the country to answer for the collapsed multibillion national project.
Addressing the Editor’s Forum on Tuesday, Mokaila said that government has been conducting investigations as to why the plant is failing, particularly at the boilers, adding that experts from boilers manufacturers and other independent ones have been engaged to give guidance of what needs to done.
“For as long as there is power in the pool we are fine but the danger for any economy is to not have power in the pool and that is what we are working towards quickly,” said Mokaila.
Asked if it is a standard practice for such a new national project to be failing and giving government a headache, Mokaila said it was not.
He said in any project, one would expect a few teething problems which are natural for any engineering venture, but not one of this magnitude.
He said that when the ministry decided to set up a project management office they were aware that government projects generally fail because of lack of implementation.
He pointed out that the ministry decided to develop capacity within the ministry for the supervision of the project.
“After all these gap analysis after the root analysis, it is a battle which I will take to CNEC and as a minister. I cannot be comfortable with a machine which needs to be serviced a million times before we even we work with it,” said Mokaila.
Botswana Power Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Jacob Raleru, has also admitted that Morupule B has had many challenges and failures adding that all four boiler makers have failed affecting electricity supply.
He pointed out that repairs are ongoing and that some units would be repaired by the end of this month.
“Unit 1 at the end of winter we have intended to do the modifications and unfortunately before we took it down there was the tube leak which is basically the problems which have experienced with all the units at Morupule B,” said Raleru.
He also confirmed that unit 4 is on forced outage following a boiler tube leak on the September 19.
Unit 3 failed on October 8 this year on account of a fault on the generator excitation system.
Raleru said that two engineering firms Doosan Lentjes and Hitachi Power Europe services who designed the Morupule B boilers and Wuxi the boiler manufacture were engaged in November 2013 to assess the chronic boiler tube failures.
“Steag Energy Services is in the process of conducting a gap analysis under the operation and maintenance contract which should come up with measures to improve plant reliability and availability,” said Raleru.