THE Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) says it is working around the clock to repair one of the three units that generate electricity at the ‘Muela Hydro Power station.
The units developed a fault that resulted in a shut down on 16 June 2022.
In a statement this week, the LHDA Chief Executive, Tente Tente, said two of the machines were now operating after repairs while efforts were being made to restore the remaining unit.
“The station is currently operating at two thirds of its capacity. We are working on repairing the remaining unit,” Mr Tente said.
It was critical to get the failed unit back in operation as quickly as possible.
Mr Tente said the LHDA is exploring all options including fast-tracking the procurement of a contractor to refurbish the unit, subject to funding availability.
“Restoring Unit 1 to normal operation is top priority given that continued failure to bring the station into optimal operation has serious implications for the country.
“Proper maintenance of the station’s equipment in totality is equally important as the consequences of further failures would be dire,” he said.
The machines became operations 34 years ago. They cost M1.4 billion.
Mr Tente said that despite routine maintenance, some of the critical components of the machines were approaching the end of their service life.
Substantial funds were now required to replace or refurbish them.
The ‘Muela Hydro Power station remains the largest and most critical source of electricity supply in Lesotho. It generates 51 percent of the country’s annual electricity requirements, with the remainder imported from South Africa and Mozambique.