Though it does not fully confirm whether Batswana will experience a “stable” electric supply during the season of winter, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has insisted that it is fully committed in improving their supply towards that season.
In an interview with Sunday Standard on Thursday BPC Spokesperson Spencer Moreri said a plan to meet the high winter electricity demand is underway. He called the plan a “Plan of action towards June.”
Moreri says the national power utility is planning to maintain four units in four months time towards June which is the winter period.
He further revealed that for now two units are working smoothly and that is why there was no load shedding in the past few weeks. He said the company is left with maintaining the other two units to finish their “plan.”
“After the recent power problems we then made a plan that we work on one unit each month, hoping that by June all the four units will be working smoothly…..Right now only two units are working,” said Moreri.
After enduring a series of load shedding last year Batswana were assured charismatically by President Ian Khama and BPC that load shedding would be a thing of the past.
However this year began with what social commentators called the “worst power crises the country has ever had.” Businesses and households were held standstill by a dire blackout for hours as the President and BPC public statements were contradicted by what was called the worst power crises ever, with load shedding lasting for almost 16 hours.
However Moreri is of the view that since the Corporation has discovered that these power crises is owed on the technical glitches experienced by the boiler area, their focus will be to modifying the boilers.
The boilers which are the major component of units at the Morupule B plant were melting down whenever Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Contractors try to run the power station and supply electricity to the national grid. The boilers are supposed to be movable, but they could neither expand nor contract during the process of generating power.
After “a better oversight at the project site” few weeks ago Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila could not give assurance that the station will soon operate at full capacity.
Moreri said for BPC to be sufficient in winter it needs all the four units operational. However he also said he does not rule any possibility of load shedding in winter, but the corporation is assuring Batswana their full commitment to solve the power crises towards winter and even going
Last year November Sunday Standard reported that authorities underplayed the threats posed by units two and three’s boiler failures and the result is that blackouts and power shortages are expected to continue until next year because the ongoing work to repair the boilers would not be complete by December this year. However BPC did not alarm Batswana about the approaching power crises which started earlier this year as it was revealed by the Sunday Standard.
That time Moreri said the country experienced shortage of power supply because there were restricted imports from the South Africa who are also currently experiencing significant power supply constraints.
Meanwhile on Thursday, Moreri said people living in the areas of Maun and Sowa were experiencing power cuts as there was a fault in a tower that affected the line supplying those areas. He said the power cuts might have lasted for over eight hours.