Botswana to sell 600MW power plant
BOTSWANA will sell a 600MW Chinese-built power plant after persistent technical problems since it was commissioned in 2012, Reuters reported, quoting the country’s State electricity firm.
Botswana’s Morupule B coal-fired power station, built by the China National Electric Equipment Corporation at a cost of $970-million, has often broken down, leading to a reliance on diesel generators and imports from South Africa.
“Morupule B has proven to be costly to maintain and operate due to construction defects rendering the plant unreliable,” Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) chief Stefan Schwarzfisher said in a notice to staff on Saturday. The sale would take 6 to 12 months, he added.
A joint venture between Japan’s Marubeni Corp and South Korea’s Posco Energy won an $800-million tender in March to expand the Morupule B plant by 300 MW.
BPC has been running at a loss for eight years and is implementing a turnaround strategy after posting a 1.9-billion pula ($180-million) operating loss in the 2015/16 financial year. It also received 2.3-billion in government subsidies. — Reuters