The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has announced it has successfully restored and brought back Unit 1 at the Muela Power Station into operation. The unit had experienced an unexpected breakdown on 18th June 2022 and has now been fully repaired and operational since the 13th of July 2023.

The LHDA's internal team of skilled engineers and technicians played a pivotal role in managing the replacement of hydropower machinery and equipment. The thorough dismantling and reassembly of the turbine and generator were carried out with precision and expertise, ultimately leading to the successful restoration of Unit 1.

The restoration of Unit 1 not only brings relief to LHDA but also aligns with the Lesotho government's efforts to provide accessible energy to its citizens and reduce reliance on electricity imports. With the full generation capacity of hydropower now restored, the 'Muela Power Station is expected to play a crucial role in providing clean, affordable, and sustainable energy to the people of Lesotho, thereby bolstering economic growth and enhancing the overall quality of life.

"Indeed, we are delighted to make this announcement, after a year of around-the-clock work by our dedicated teams." said Mr. Tente Tente, LHDA Chief Executive. "This achievement represents a significant step forward in our efforts to providing accessible and reliable energy for Lesotho. We extend our gratitude to the dedicated team whose hard work and expertise made this accomplishment possible. An invaluable experience has been gained, and there are lots of lessons learned to be shared with the hydropower fraternity ".

The LHDA expressed its heartfelt appreciation to all stakeholders, including international, regional, and local partners, as well as the government of Lesotho, for their unwavering support throughout the refurbishment process. Their collaboration played a vital role in ensuring the success of this ambitious project.

The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is a multi-phased, multi-billion Maloti/Rand project between the governments of the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa. It includes water transfer and hydropower generation components, with the goal of enhancing water usage from the Senqu (Orange) River and its tributaries, both for South Africa and to generate hydroelectric power in Lesotho.

Phase I of the project included the construction of the Katse Dam, transfer and delivery tunnels, ‘Muela Hydropower Plant, and the Mohale Dam. Phase II comprises a dam at Polihali and a gravity tunnel connecting the Polihali reservoir with the Katse reservoir. The hydropower component of Phase II, the Oxbow Hydropower Scheme, is currently in the procurement phase for scheme design.

The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) serves as the implementing and management authority for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on behalf of the government of Lesotho.