Monday, December 5, 2022

Transport strike puts Morupule B behind schedule

Morupule B is said to be a little behind schedule because of the recent transport strike action that took place in neighbouring South Africa, amongst other obstacles.

In the ten days that the strike ensued, the plant was short of vital equipment due to the pending deliveries. However, the plant has ranked in more than 2 million hours of manpower and it has spent about P137 million on 136 local companies thus far.

“The halt in equipment delivery ended up causing an overall delay in the work progress,” Glen Beck, project manager at the site, revealed at a recent media tour.

Black also blamed the new finger printing system for the setback. He said that the process for hiring more manpower is slow because of it.

“The new finger printing system for work permits in Serowe is slowing down the permitting process, which causes us to lag behind in terms of acquiring more man-power, especially citizens,” said Black. ┬á┬á

Black revealed that additional job opportunities for locals have been realised at the Morupule power plant.

The multibillion pula power plant that is expected to supply Batswana with electricity by the end of 2012 currently  employs 656 citizens while the Chinese workers on site are close to a 1000.   
Black said that even though the number might seem inadequate, the project had exceeded its expectations on how many citizens they had initially planned to hire. He pointed out that the number had doubled when compared to the original plan.

“There are few Batswana who possess the required skills to build a plant of this complexity that is why there are more Chinese workers than locals. With time that will change, because the plan is to have the Chinese run the plant for three years after which the citizens, who are currently in training, will take over,” said Black.

However, some aspects at the plant are on schedule, a contract for the Isang 400KW, a line that is to transmit power to the South has recently been awarded and bush clearing is scheduled for sometime this month.

Meanwhile, the contract for Phokoje, the transmission line to the north, is being finalised and 18km of bush is currently being cleared.

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