Botswana is tackling its power supply constraints better than most, if not all, countries in the region, says the US-based International Business Monitor (IBM). The organisation sees Botswana attaining self-sufficiency in power generation in 2019, during which time presently under-performing coal-fired thermal power stations reach optimum production and pave the way for the country to end reliance on electricity imports from South Africa.
In its latest power-focused country report, IBM says Botswana’s power generation capacity would grow exponentially in the next few years, driven by three new projects that are expected to start supplying the national grid between 2018 and 2019.
The report observes: “Japanese company Marubeni has formed a joint venture with South Korean firm Posco Energy, which has been named as the preferred bidder for the 300 MW expansion of the Morupule B Power Station. This will be the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) operated plant in Botswana.
“Shumba Energy has stated that it is awaiting the finalisation of the power purchase agreement (PPA) before construction will start on its Sechaba Coal Power Plant, which it currently expects to start operations between 2018 and 2019.”
Besides, the report notes that Shumba Energy has submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) for another 100MW solar power tender in the south-central town Jwaneng and has secured three partners for the tender, which are Mulilo, SunPower and Total.
To crown it all, the first phase of the new North West Transmission Grid, which is underway, is expected to be completed by 2018.
Based on the above-mentioned developments, IBM currently forecasts that (Botswana’s) total power generation will grow from 0.42 Twh in 2016 to 3.2TWh by 2025.
Corroborating IMB’s views, a few days ago, Botswana’s Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Minister, Kitso Mokaila, expressed confidence that the country would reach self-sufficiency and become a net regional power exporter by 2019 due to the upsurge in combined output from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the government-owned power stations.
Information credits: Adapted by a report produced by African News Agency