Wrong gas plant specs costing govt millions

Wrong gas plant specs costing govt millions

Mzuzu Central Hospital has in the past three months spent K45 million on oxygen after its newly installed K1.3 billion oxgyen plant faced a hitch, Nation on Sunday has established.

The Global Fund project was scheduled for completion in October last year, but an alleged inaccurate specification  led to a wrong power distribution board.

The idle oxygen plant

In an interview yesterday, the hospital’s director Ted Bandawe said the situation means they will continue spending K15 million per month on gas.

“It’s expensive to source oxygen from elsewhere. We spend K15 million a month. If you do your mathematics, that’s around K180 million a year,” he said.

Based on the monthly K15 million, it means the hospital has spent K45 million in the past three months, an expenditure Bandawe said could have been used for other essential requirements.

The gas is used for oxygen on critically ill patients and in treatment of Covid-19, a disease that necessitated the setting up of the plant.

According to the project overview, the plant is capable of producing 120 oxygen cylinders per day.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Health Halima Daudi who inspected the project a fortnight ago also expressed concern over the delay to complete the project.

She said: “The gas plant was supposed to be completed last year. The progress is bad. We are unhappy about it.

“There are small things that were not done. That’s why they are not manufacturing gas from this plant.”

Daudi has since called for speedy completion of the project to save public resources.

The minister said they want the plant to be completed as soon as possible, adding that the right board has already been bought and is under installation.

Daudi said other than Mzuzu Central Hospital, the plant would be supplying other health facilities in the Northern Region.

In an interview yesterday, Malawi Health Equity Network executive director George Jobe described the incident as unfortunate while demanding stricter guidelines in project management.

He added that the health sector already suffers underfunding; “therefore cannot afford to be wasting resources due to such procurement hitches.”

The post Wrong gas plant specs costing govt millions first appeared on The Nation Online.

The post Wrong gas plant specs costing govt millions appeared first on The Nation Online.