Botswana household and industrial power consumers have been presented with more bad news with revelations that the refurbishment of Morupule A Power Station will be completed by 2015.
The power plant adjacent to Morupule B, which is failing tests, is currently under care and maintenance and to put it back to operation will cost taxpayers about P1.2 billion.
“Morupule A is to be returned to service by the end of 2015 after refurbishment of power plant to recover equipment degradation after 27 years of operation,” revealed the minister of Presidential Affairs and Development Planning Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Standing for minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Masisi added: “Procurement of an Owner’s Engineer to assist the Botswana Power Corporation to undertake the required refurbishment is in progress.”
In an interesting twist of operations, Morupule A from April to September 2012 generated 57,419 MWh as compared to a target of 372,602 MWh – marking a significant operation loss.
As the energy generation dwindled, the cost of production rose, standing at P381.8 million compared to a budget of P135.8 million for the year up to October.
“The point raised with regard to the investment structure is quite pertinent and may be considered,” Masisi said, referring to local private companies, which, according to the mover of the question, had the capacity to refurbish and operate the plant but could be sidelined in favour of foreign companies.
Member of Parliament for Boteti North, Slumber Tsogwane, disturbed by incessant power outages, wanted the minister to state timetable and measures put in place to ensure the facility is refurbished to enable it to start operations as soon as possible.
He also wanted the minister to consider whether it will not be prudent to allow for private companies or entities, which have the capacity to refurbish and operate the plant, to do so in view of budgetary constraints his ministry is facing.