Thursday, August 6, 2020

BPC turns to NamPower to unplug Eskom

Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is planning to cut ties with South Africa’ s utility giant ESKOM due to escalating costs related to power imports.

The BPC has now turned to Namibia in an effort to offset the power deficit in the country.

It is understood negotiations are underway between the BPC and the Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) to supply power to Botswana at a cheaper price.

Information gathered by this publication suggests the BPC is expected to dump ESKOM due to the escalating costs associated with power that the utility imports from South Africa.

Sources say negotiations between the BPC and NamPower are at an advanced stage.

They further suggest the BPC buys electricity from ESKOM at an exorbitant cost while NamPower has promised to sell electricity to Botswana at lower rates.

It is also understoodthat negotiations could have long been completed but were hampered by the outbreak of COVID 19.

NamPower imports coal from Botswana to produce electricity.      

Responding to this publication queries managing director of NamPower Kahenge Haulof said he was not aware of any negotiations taking place between Botswana and Namibia. 

“Please note that NamPower has been supplying power to small towns in neighbouring countries in Botswana and Angola that are closer to the Namibian grid than they are to grids of their own countries,” said Haulof.

He stated that that NamPower has been supplying power to BPC cross border loads that are not connected to the BPC grid including the Ghanzi and De Hoek areas in Botswana and Namibia, respectively for a number of years now.

He added that the current supply of electricity to these areas ranges from 11kV to 132kV.

Haulofu also stated that so far NamPower supplies both Botswana and Angola.

The BPC spokesperson Dineo Seleke denied allegations that suggest that the power utility will in the near future dump ESKOM and sign a new contract with the NamPower. In a brief press statement, she said: “that is news us.”

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