Japanese’s Marubeni Corporation and South Korea’s Posco Energy have jointly won an $800 million tender to expand Morupile B power plant in Botswana. With this expansion, an extra 300MW generated to add on the 600MW that the plant currently produces.
The minister in charge the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources issued a statement to parliament and retaliated the government’s commitment to bring the power plant into service within the shortest time possible.
In a statement to parliament on the progress made, the Minister, Mr. Kitso Mokaila said a number of challenges had been encountered causing undue delays in bringing the power plant into operation but with an assurance that remedial actions ware being taken that would include among others, strengthening the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) project management staff. He also added that he and the BPC chief executive were having benchmark consultations with their South African counterparts on the challenges the country’s electricity supply industry was facing.
Through a 30-year power purchase agreement, the construction firms will recover their costs by selling the power to the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) at a cost of 812.56 pula per Megawatt-hour. Construction is scheduled to start late this year with the first power produced added into the national grid by May 2020. This is expected to lift national power generation capacity to more than 1000MW up from the current 600MW.
The power plant had experienced some challenges last year prompting the shut down of one unit on January 15th this year so that to allow time and space to bring the situation into order.
These challenges included teething problems like steam leakages, air leakages, operation problems in the limestone and some ash system leakages. He however indicated that these have been attended to. He further noted that unit three had completed the prescribed tests on February 26th and was currently producing power and connected to the BPC transmission system.