Morupule B Power Plant is said to be experiencing severe technical problems due to the ongoing commissioning of the Units 1, 2 and 3. This, according to the Botswana Power Corporations (BPC), has resulted in the plant generating below capacity.
“This shortage implies that our national demand significantly exceeds supply and has inevitably led to the recent prolonged load shedding exercises being experienced throughout the country,” said the Corporation’s press statement.
From the beginning of this year, there have been several power cuts country-wide with some businesses slowing in production while some households were left in complete darkness for hours. This has had members of the public worrying because of these prolonged power cuts.
The nation should expect the adverse situation to continue, until the Morupule B Power plant is fully commissioned by the current estimated date of completion of end of June 2013,” said the statement.
BPC also said there are limited energy imports due to shortage of supply in the region. After the expiry of last year’s contract with South Africa’s Eskom on December 31, the new deal penned during the start of this year seems not to be enough to meet this country’s demand.
In this new deal, Botswana will get only 100 mega watts, which will run for 3 years. The other deal accompanying this new deal comes with supply of 200 mega watts ending this year July.
BPC Marketing and Communication Manager, Spencer Moreri, concurred with the above statement saying South Africa is also having problems of power shortage and this will also affect Botswana as they will use the same system courtesy of the new deal.
He said there is a need for Botswana to decrease dependency on South Africa as the country (South Africa) also suffers the same power shortages as it prepares for the winter period which requires high demand for electricity.
Moreri said the country can also depend on other power plants, like the Orapa plant and the Matshelagabedi plant.
Meanwhile, the efforts to put a stop on this country‘s electricity woes is said to be put at top priority by the government as during the Budget Speech last Monday Minister of Finance and Development Planning Kenneth Matambo said the reason the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources gets a larger chunk for development budget at 26.82 percent is accounted to many projects awaiting development, including the BPC finances to cover Emergency Power at P300 million with Morupule A and Morupule B Power Stations at P160 million and P200 million respectively.
On another case, Moreri said sometimes power cuts are not caused by load shedding as some people think. He said sometimes power cuts happen because of some faults in the system and also when the maintenance team is at work. He denied that the January-February power cuts were caused by too much power used at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
“Sometimes people do not report faults, they then wait thinking it is load shedding,” said Moreri.
He advised that, to avoid possible long hours of load shedding, the public should cooperate with the corporation by switching off geysers during peak hours (6pm-10pm and 6am-10am). He said the public should switch off all appliances that are not absolutely critical, for example Air conditioners, swimming pool pumps and switching off lights that are not in use both in and outside the house.