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Morupule A refurbishment delayed

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  • Current boiler heaters failed to operate and contractor had to wait for new heaters
  • Government says the project will be delivered within budget

TSHIAMO TABANE

As of 30th November 2016, Morupule A refurbishment was 52% complete compared to the targeted 83%- Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Sadique Kebonang told parliament last week.
Responding to  Selebi Phikwe West MP Dithapelo Keorapetse’s questions regarding the P2.4 billion refurbishment project, the minister stated that during tests and assessment contractors realized that boiler super heater headers had deteriorated to a level that poses risk of failure due to age and therefore needed to be replaced rather than repaired as was initially planned; this  means that the components had to be manufactured, after an order, as they (the headers) are not off-shelf components.
Unit 1 of the 132 MW plant was initially scheduled to be delivered before Christmas. “Due to the serious and unforeseen condition of the boilers super heaters, the original time schedule for delivery of the unit and other units had to be revised.” Unit 1 schedule for delivery has been revised from 18th  December 2016 to 10th July 2017; Unit 2 (from 10th March 2017 to 5th August); Unit 4 (from 10th April to 5th September 2017) while unit 3 will be delivered within the initial schedule of 18th October 2017.
Kebonang assured parliament that the refurbishment is well underway with most of the ordered equipment delivered and installed at site, and barring the unforeseen circumstances, the project will be handed over within the revised time schedule and budget. “The contract between the Botswana Power Corporation and the contractor, Doosan Heavy Industry and Construction (DHIC) allows for time extension without price increase in case of serious and unforeseen defects picked during inspection phase,” said the minister.
He noted that there were no unusual major issues with the project, except Unit 2 which has its transformer and other related equipment damaged by an electrical fault fire which occurred on the 15th June 2016. “The BPC and the contractor are working on measures to ensure that the unit is completed no later than end of December 2016,” said the minister. Asked if there were any labour or other issues delaying the project, he said “Presently there are no labour issues or other issues which are likely to delay the project from the revised schedule.”
The refurbishment of Morupule A commenced on 18th October 2015, after the plant was shut down in August 2012 due to ageing equipment and high pollution.

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