The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water resources Kgomotso Abi says the sale of the controversial Morupule B power plant which has been a cause for concern to the government is a “viable option”.
Answering questions before the Public Accounts Committee last week Thursday, Abi said “we will be tasked only with the buying of power from these independent power producers. We are exploring the deal,” revealed Abi.
When quizzed by Francistown West MP Ignatius Moswaane if the exercise was worthwhile, he responded saying, “I believe the move is a viable option.”
In February minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila told Parliament that that government could possibly sell the P11 billion power plant to the contractor, China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC).
Morupule B has been dogged by malfunctions since its commissioning. In 2015 Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) stopped playing to the gallery and conceded that the power plant was “unreliable”, adding that it “is suffering from construction defects which need to be addressed”.
The Morupule B power plant failed to meet the country’s power needs resulting in the country importing electricity from neigbouring South Africa to meet domestic demand.
However Tati West MP Biggie Butale expressed concern about the possible sale of the facility. “As a country I think we are not serious to consider selling the facility,” he said.
Responding to a query from Bonnington South MP Ndaba Gaolathe who expressed concern that Government could be spending much more money on an already aged facility, Abi explained saying refurbishment of Morupule A was much cheaper compared to building a new one. “The financial cost of bringing down the plant coupled with the costs of building a new facility proves a much more expensive exercise,” he said.