Kalahari Energy to convert the diesel Orapa Power Plant into CBM operation
by Jerry Bungu
Kalahari Energy Botswana has been awarded a contract by Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) to convert the 90 MW Orapa Power Plant currently diesel-fired into coal-bed methane operation under an asset management agreement, Group CEO Steve Martin told the Resource Sector Conference in Gaborone this week.
Martin said they are awaiting gas delivery via pipeline to the plant from Mmashoro in which is under construction in order to do away with the excessive consumption of diesel that the plant has been associated with.
The company says it will also own and operate the 180 MW Mmashoro Power Plant under a 15-year private partnership arrangement with BPC.
“Kalahari Energy Botswana will leverage its strong knowledge and expertise in terms of coal-bed methane (CBM) exploration and production that might revolutionize the Botswana electricity industry,” said Martin in an interview.
The CEO says the company has the capacity to increase further PPAs and it has attained a 95 percent availability of the plant since commissioning of the Orapa Plant in August 2011.
“Conversion of 90MW to CBM operation requires investment in CBM production and gas transport infrastructure, compressors and pipeline from Mmashoro to Orapa.” he explained.
“Investment is subject to negotiations between BPC and Kalahari Energy,” he said without disclosing the amount.
He explained that the 180 MW Mmashoro Power Plant is open cycle.
“It is a fully integrated project with CBM production wells and gas gathering, transport and storage facilities forming part of the investment.”
The 15 year PPA with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), the state-owned utility signature is expected before the end of June 2012.