Wednesday, September 30, 2020

BPC Lesedi in dire need of P230 million to expand projects in Botswana

The Chief Executive Officer of BPC Lesedi, a subsidiary of Botswana Power Corporation, Walter Kgabung, has revealed that his organisation needs at least P230 million to expand its projects in the country. 

During the recent stake holder meeting held by the organization in Maun, he pleaded with government and the private sector to actively support the organization in its endeavor to set up renewable energy resources in the whole country as budget constraints remain a huge challenge for the organisation.

“From the original plan, we were targeting 300 villages and settlements, so we are still behind due to financial constraints. We are pleading with the government and the private sector to provide assistance in reaching out to targeted communities,” he said.

BPC Lesedi was formed in 2008 for the purpose of rolling out the RE-Botswana Renewable Energy-based Rural Electrification Projects. The implementation process of this project is being overseen by the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and the programme aims to remove barriers to the utilisation of renewable and clean energy in Botswana.??However, Kgabung went on to say that ever since its inception, BPC Lesedi has spent about P20 million to cover only a few settlements and villages. He said that the organisation is not profit oriented as there is no sharing of profits.

On a different note, he told the participants that BPC Lesedi was established in order to achieve economic prosperity, especially with the energy demands in rural areas.

He said that there is need for renewable energy resources in rural areas as 25 percent of villages are not grid electrified, 49 percent of households in grid electrified villages not connected and 99 percent of settlements not electrified.

“Some of our main objectives as BPC Leseding are to provide clean, safe and affordable energy to rural dwellers living in areas where the provision of grid supply is uneconomical, to help reduce the degree of deforestation and to minimize the amount of carbon emissions arising from the use of fossil fuels for lighting and cooking purposes,” he said.

He added that BPC Lesedi operates through a franchise approach, which involves private sector participation as partners. He explained that the franchise format recruits members of the private sector to invest in buying franchise packages to operate at their respective areas.

Kgabung further said that franchisees would then assist the organization to implement its rural electrification mandate by providing energy related services, ranging from installations of PV systems to selling of renewable energy retail products to the target market.

“I want to call upon those who are interested in franchising with the organization to do so as it will also help us grow as BPC Lesedi,” he said.

The objective of the BPC Lesedi stakeholder meeting in Maun was to brief stake holders on the concept, plans and challenges faced by the organisation.

The meeting was also geared at soliciting support in efforts by the organisation to deliver energy resources to people.

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