Botswana to sell 600MW power plant

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

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

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