Interim Repairs to Sustain Power Plant

| June 1, 2015

The Morupule B Power plant would continue to be sustained by interim repairs for units to continue running and supplying power, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MEWR), Mr Kgomotso Abi has said.

Mr Abi told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on May 28 that power outages would continue, but the situation would improve with time as the Morupule A refurbishment would also be fast tracked.

He said the ministry could only commit to a deadline of three years for full supply of electricity by the Morupule B after the full restoration of the plant.

Again, he said the ministry had adequate steps in place that would turn the situation around which he said included independent power producers whereby power stations would be constructed and Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) would buy.

A committee member, Mr Dithapelo Keorapetse, blamed the long term strategy that was adopted in the past to generate power in modest quantities as well as relying on importation of energy.

That, he argued was a flawed strategy given the potential negative consequences of dependency on other countries.Another committee member, Mr Guma Moyo said as a landlocked country, the ministry should have foreseen that energy was key to self-sufficiency and that the strategy should have included the need to be self-stringent, should anything happen with regards to strikes, wars and other disasters by the supplying countries.

“No matter how cheap the strategy was, if anything happens to the supplier, the strategy could be flawed and hence there was need to re-look into it,” he said.

In response, Mr Abi said Botswana had for a long time benefitted from the strategy because the export of power import was cheap, adding “we cannot deny those benefits.”

Also, he said the same strategy was aligned such that it would deliver Morupule B by 2012 for self-sufficiency, but then the execution of the power station had failed the strategy.

“The strategy to import has served us well, but the move to self-sufficiency failed,” he said.

On other issues, committee members argued that there was no due diligence embarked on with regards the track record of the company that was executing work at Morupule B.

Another member of the committee, Mr Shaun Ntlhaile suggested that the country needed a completely new power plant owing to the fact that investigations carried out at the plant identified poor workmanship, poor quality of material and design issues.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

Comments are closed.