The Morupule A refurbishment and pollution abatement project will be completed within budget.
The project aims at securing a firm generation capacity of 132MW by the end of 2017 through refurbishment of four generating units which were taken out of operation in August 2012.
Commenced on October 18, 2015, the project started with the inspection of the plant and Non-Destructive Tests of pressure to determine the scope and extent of refurbishment for various equipment.
“In other words the inspection and NDTs are used to determine which equipment needs replacement, overhaul or repair,” noted the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Sadique Kebonang.
“During the tests, residual life assessment on the boiler pressure parts revealed that the boiler super headers have deteriorated to a level which poses risk of failure due to age and therefore needed to be replaced rather than repaired,” Kebonang further noted.
“They are not off-shelf components,” he reminded parliamentarians on Thursday answering the concerns of Selebi Phikwe West Member of Parliament Dithapelo Keorapetse.
Unable to meet the power demands of the population, Morupule A will be augmented by the controversial Morupule B power station whose capacity generation is yet to be to felt considering sporadic power outages currently besieging the country.
Morupule A will then be refurbished to compliment the latter and meet Botswana’s quest to become the region’s power base, exporting excess of energy to neighbouring countries in short of supply.
Currently the country imports part of supply from South Africa whose supply in recent years dropped due to that country’s failure to meet the population’s demand.
Due to serious and unforeseen condition of the boiler super heater headers, the original time schedule for delivery of the units had to be revised, Kebonang said.
“Currently the project is well under way with most of the equipment delivered and being installed at the site,” he added, saying the project will be handed over in accordance with the revised time schedule.
As to the budget Kebonang said:“The project will be delivered within budget. The contract between the Botswana Power Corporation and contractor allows for time extension without price increase in case of serious and unforeseen defects during the inspection phase.”
As at November 30, 2016, Morupule A project was 52 percent complete compared to a target of 83 percent.
Unit 1 will, however, be delivered as per revised schedule of July 2017.
“Currently there are no major issues with the project which are unusual for a project of this nature save for a most likely delay in the completion of Unit 2 refurbishment whose transformer and other related equipment was damaged by an electrical fault fire which occurred on June 15, 2016,” Kebonang said, adding that the contractor was working on measures to ensure that the Unit is completed no later than the end of this month.