The minister responsible for Energy, Kitso Mokaila, has once again assured the nation that the excessive load-shedding that is being experienced by electricity consumers is set to ease following an assessment and modification of some units at the troubled Morupule B power station.
Giving an update to parliament on Monday, Mokaila yet again went on record to say that the ongoing power outages “will soon be a thing of the past.”
The on construction Morupule B is currently running with one unit, whilst the other three are not functioning following a series of boiler failures and breakdowns.
“Unit 1 is currently running and will be taken out of service for boiler modifications once the three other Units are brought back into service and at an appropriate time,” Mokaila said.
The only Unit of the four Units which has not been taken over by Botswana Power Corporation, Unit 2 boiler has been modified as per the recommendations of the designers. It is expected to be brought in service by the end of April.
“Boiler modifications for Unit 3 have been completed and is expected to be brought into service by the end of March 2014,” the Minister said.
According to the minster, Unit 4 which was shut down on March 6 on account of boiler tube leaks is still being modified and timelines of its being brought back to service are still being evaluated according to the minister.
Through BPC, the government in November 2013 brought in the Boiler designers from Germany to investigate Unit 2 and 3 boiler failures.
“They advised that manufacturing of the boilers was not as per original designs. Modifications to boilers 2 and 3 are completed and the units are to be brought into service before the end of April 2014, barring the unforeseen,” Mokaila said.
Mokaila says he recently met with the new president of China National Electric Equipment Corporation;, Morupule B main contractor Who has since advised him of his firm commitment to address government concerns.
“At the site there has a marked improvement in terms of responsiveness and cooperation with other stakeholders by CNEEC. My Ministry is also reviewing various options in terms of procuring power from other countries to ensure we have belts and braces for firming up of the country’s electricity supplies,” he said.
He added that the government is committed to ensuring that the project closure of the power plant is achieved without failure.
“Our energy and focus should be on resolving the current power crisis rather than in meaningless witch hunt informed by political expediency,” Mokaila warned.
Mokaila thanked South African government for their consistent support and everybody for their understanding in enduring the hardships of load shedding.
Abundant with natural coal resource enough to satisfy local demand and even export the surplus, Botswana found herself reeling from sporadic power outages.
The multi-billion Pula mega Morupule B project, destined to fill the gap, will not come to operations as planned.
The Chinese Contractor constructing the project will dally-dilly on the project until eventually unceremoniously kicked out and replaced by the German contractor.
Eskom South Africa power utility will cut exports to the country because it will not satisfy local consumer market, further plunging Botswana into severe darkness.