Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Botswana braces for winter national demand for power

An all-out effort is being made to have all the four units at Morupule B Power plant operational from May to August. This will give the nation 528 Megawatts (MW).

This came to light on Thursday morning at Kgatleng District Council Chamber when the Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila updated councillors on planned energy projects meant to ensure the security of power supply in the country and measures put in place to ensure the liberalised competitive energy market.

“There is an existing agreement, which comes to an end on 31/12/2015 and BPC plans to have it renewed whereby South Africa supplies 100 MW to BPC and when power is in excess they supply an additional 200MW, giving a total of 300MW. But in view of the power challenges being faced by South Africa there have been occasions where there were no imports resulting in massive load shedding. We thank the South African government for their continued support, without which our country would have faced crippling power shortages,” said Mokaila.

He said arrangements are in place to import up to 100MW from Mozambique. He said the country’s peak demand is 610MW and this is met through local power generation and imports mainly from South Africa.

“Botswana Power Corporation has agreements with the following National Electricity Utilities: Eskom-BPC can import 100MW on a non-firm basis but this can be increased by 200MW if available. The agreement ends in 2015 and BPC has advised Eskom of its intention to extend it to 2018; EDM-BPC has agreement to import up to 100MW from EDM Mozambique. However during peak hours they are only in a position to supply 20MW. Zesco-BPC is able to import up to 50MW at off peak hours as and when power is available; and NamPower-BPC is able to buy up to 100MW mainly off peak power,” he said.

He further explained that BPC is also running emergency diesel power plants at Matshelagabedi and Orapa of 70 and 90MW respectively. Running these facilities, he said is very expensive and thus the ministry is exploring supply of coal bed methane or gas to the Orapa dual fuel facility. Plans are underway to increase the output of Matshelagabedi by May 2015 by 35MW.

He further elucidated that efforts are underway to construct a 400kv line from Morupule to Shakawe via Orapa and Maun in order to supply adequate power to the northwest region. He said the ministry and the BPC continue to encourage electricity users to implore energy efficiency and conservation measures when using electricity to avoid load shedding.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

The Telegraph December 2

Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.