The minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR) has revealed that refurbishment of Morupule A is currently underway and the first unit is expected to be operational in October 2016, whilst completion of the whole project will be in December 2017.
Mokaila awarded the tender for the refurbishment of Morupule A in December last year to a South Korean power equipment maker, Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction. The company was hand-picked for the tender which was estimated at $204 million (P2.5 billion) to refurbish the mothballed Morupule A power plant.
Presenting his budget to the committee of supply, the minister said he expects Botswana to be a power net exporter within the SADC region by 2018. He also said negotiations are currently underway with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to develop and run unit 5 and 6 of Morupule B.
The power plant, which has been shut down since 2012, has a total capacity of 132 megawatts comprising four generators producing 33 megawatts. Under the contract, Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction will replace and repair turbines and boilers in the Morupule A power plant. Mokaila also told parliament that plans to establish a power regulator, Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BEWRA), in Botswana are currently ongoing. Amongst other things, the power regulator will oversee energy initiatives in Botswana. The BEWRA bill will be presented in parliament in the near future.
The government and Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) have been accused of running parallel procurement processes. Government awarded the tender to Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction under controversial circumstances while BPC was running another tender on the same project. Once Morupule A is refurbished, the plant is expected to run for another 15years.