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Morupule Thermal Power Station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Morupule Power Station
Morupule Thermal Power Station
Coordinates22°31′12″S 27°02′12″E / 22.52000°S 27.03667°E / -22.52000; 27.03667
Construction beganMorupule A: 1982
Morupule B: 2010
Commission dateMorupule A: 1989
Morupule B: 2014
Owner(s)Botswana Power Corporation
Thermal power station
Primary fuelCoal
Power generation
Units operationalMorupule A: 4 × 33 MW
Morupule B: 4 x 150 MW
Nameplate capacityMorupule A: 132 MW
Morupule B: 600 MW

Morupule Thermal Power Station is a coal-fired power station in Botswana. It is responsible for an estimated 80 percent of the country's domestic power generation.[1]


The power station is located near the town of Palapye, in the Central District, approximately 270 kilometres (168 mi), by road, north-east of Gaborone, Botswana's capital city.[2] The geographical coordinates of Morupule Thermal Power Station are 22°31'12.0"S, 27°02'12.0"E (Latitude:-22.520000; Latitude:27.036667).[3]


Morupule A

Morupule A Power Station comprises four air-cooled 33 megawatts coal-fired units, with coal supplied from the adjacent Morupule Colliery, owned by Debswana. Total generation capacity is 132 megawatts. Construction on the existing station started in 1982 and was completed in 1989.[4]

In 2016, the government of Botswana sourced funds to renovate and restore Morupule A. The contract was won by Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction at a contract price of BWP:2.5 billion (US$204 million in 2016 money). The upgrade was expected to last until 2018. On completion of the upgrade Morupule A is expected to function at 80 percent plant availability for another 15 years (until 2033).[5]

Morupule B

Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) was considering an expansion of the Morupule Power Station since 2006. BPC eventually decided on 600 megawatts, consisting of four 150 megawatts units.[1] At the time this project was conceptualized, 80 percent of the electricity consumed in Botswana, was imported from from the South African utility, Eskom. The World Bank and the African Development Bank both provided partial funding to the construction of Morupule B.[6] In 2010 construction began, with the lead contractor being China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC). Completion was expected in 2012.[7]

However, by April 2013, Units I and II were out of service, undergoing repairs for cracks in their air ducts, that developed soon after installation. Unit III, the only functioning unit at the time, had also developed the same problem. Unit IV was still under construction. This led to severe power shortage, resulting in load shedding and rolling blackouts.[8]

In January 2014, the government of Botswana hired STEAG Energy Services of Germany to “identify problems created by CNEEC and rectify them”. After CNEEC was forced to leave, on 31 December 2013, STEAG took over maintenance and operation of Morupule B, effective 1 January 2014. Installation of all four units was completed in 2014.[9][10] In June 2018, the government of Botswana terminated talks with state-owned China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), in attempts to divest from Morupule B. These negotiations had been ongoing since 2016. In 2018, the power station was producing at about 81 percent capacity (producing approximately 486 megawatts).[11]


The Morupule B Power Station has been beset with problems right from the start. A forensic investigation into the matter has found that Botswana Power Company staff members colluded with CNEEC to embezzle more than BWP:1 billion (approx. US$90.5 million in 2014), from the BWP:10 billion (approx. US$905 million) Morupule B power project.[12]


Morupule A and Morupule B are both owned 100 percent by the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).[1][6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (2006). "Morupule Power Station Generation Expansion Project Palapye, Botswana" (PDF). New York City: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  2. ^ Google (29 July 2020). "Road Distance From Gaborone To Palapye" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  3. ^ Google (29 July 2020). "Location of Morupule Thermal Power Station" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  4. ^ Botswana Power Corporation (2 December 2013). "Generation at Morupule Thermal Power Station" (Archived from the original on 3 December 2013). Gaborone: Botswana Power Corporation. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  5. ^ Babalwa Bungane (15 December 2015). "Botswana: Doosan Heavy Industries to upgrade Morupule A power plant". Rondebosch, South Africa: Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  6. ^ a b African Development Bank (June 2009). "Botswana: Morupule B Power Project; ESIA Executive Summary" (PDF). Abidjan: African Development Bank. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  7. ^ Brian Benza (22 February 2010). "Construction Of 600 MW Morupule B Power Station Begins". Mmegi Online. Gaborone. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  8. ^ ESI-Africa (29 April 2013). "Morupule B problems cause rolling blackouts in Botswana". Rondebosch, South Africa: Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  9. ^ Sunday Standard (12 January 2014). "Gov't Turns Against Morupule B Contractor". Gaborone: Sunday Standard. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  10. ^ STEAG Energy Services (19 February 2014). "STEAG takes on operation and maintenance in Botswana in record time: Cooperation between STEAG Energy Services from Essen and India in a 600 MW power plant". Essen, Germany: Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  11. ^ James Macharia (9 June 2018). "Botswana cancels plans to sell troubled power plant to Chinese firm". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  12. ^ Sunday Standard (11 February 2019). "CNEEC, BPC staff fleece Morupule B of P 1 billion- report". Sunday Standard. Gaborone. Retrieved 30 July 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 July 2020, at 18:19
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