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Morupule A Power Station

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Morupule A Power Station is a 132-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station near Palapye, Central District, Botswana. The plant is being refurbished.

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the Morupule Power Station, near Palapye, Central District.

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Background

Owned by the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), Morupule Power Station comprises four 33 MW coal-fired units, with coal supplied from the adjacent Morupule Colliery. The station provided about 80% of the country's domestic power generation. Construction on the existing station started in 1982 and was completed in 1989.[1]

Closure and refurbishment

The Botswana government shut down the power station in 2013 as Morupule B Power Station came online. However, as Morupule B has been plagued with operational problems, the government has sourced funds to renovate and restore Morupule A.[2] Plans are to return Morupule A to its full 132 MW capacity with a life span of 20 years.[3]

In March 2016 Doosan secured the contract for the 132 MW plant from BPC. The first turbine will go into operation in 2017.[4]

In November 2016 the refurbishing project was described as being in trouble, with the scheduled December 2017 completion date now regarded by "insiders" as "impossible." The project was 9% completed, rather than the 43% that had been scheduled, and is now targeted at 2019 completion. Reportedly, 53 Thai nationals working without permits were refusing to work due to poor working conditions and late payment. In addition, two South African nationals were arrested for working without permits.[5]

In December 2016 the project was reported to be 52% complete, rather than the targeted 83%. The reason for delay was that boiler super heaters needed to be replaced rather than refurbished. All four units are planned to be commissioned in 2017.[6]

In November 2017, it was reported that Unit 1 of the plant was undergoing commissioning and the refurbishment of the remaining three units will be completed by the end of the year.[7] However, in March 2018 it was reported that Morupule A was 90% complete, and would return to full operation in June 2018.[8]

In August 2018 it was reported that the re-commissioning of the power station had been suspended twice that year due to technical complications. An anonymous source working on the project told the Sunday Standard that “the project will probably take between six and 12 months to complete unless Doosan hands over the station without completing the work.”[9]

In November 2018 the Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) Dr Stefan Schwarzfischer said Morupule A was currently undergoing safety checks before being returned to commercial operation, and that the exercise will be concluded in May 2019. Two days earlier, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Eric Molale said all units at Morupule A were not working.[10]

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: Botswana Power Corp
  • Parent company: Botswana Power Corporation
  • Location: Palapye, Central District, Botswana
  • Coordinates: -22.5195, 27.037 (exact)
  • Status: Construction (being refurbished)
  • Gross capacity: 132 MW (Units 1-4: 33 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • In service: 1986-89 (old units), 2019 (refurbished units)
  • Coal type:
  • Coal source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources

References

  1. Nicola Mawson, "Botswana mulls power expansion plan," Mining Weekly Online, February 17, 2006.
  2. Reuben Pitse, "Government forced to refurbish Morupule ‘A’," Sunday Standard, 20-03-2014
  3. "Plans underway to refurbish Morupule A," Botswana Daily News, Oct 2, 2014
  4. "Doosan to revive coal-fired ‘ghost plant’ in Botswana," PEI, March 30, 2016
  5. "Botswana: All Not Well At Morupule A," The Patriot All Africa, 14 November 2016
  6. "Morupule A refurbishment delayed," Botswana Gazette, 21 December 2016
  7. "Gov't discontinues Matshelagabedi power plant," Mmegi, 10 Nov 2017
  8. "Morupule A 90% complete, returns in June," Mmegi, 9 Mar 2018
  9. "Combustion and other problems stall refurbishment at Morupule A," Sunday Standard, Aug 20, 2018
  10. "BPC turns profitable," The Patriot, Nov 28, 2018

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources