The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) multi-billion North West Transmission Grid project is on track with completion progress at 73 percent as at July 2019 against a target of 86 percent.
Briefing the media recently, project leader, George Moeti, stated that demand in some of the villages in the said areas exceeds the distribution network capacity leading to compromised of supply.
He added that as a result, the potential economic developments which are mining and agriculture developments are suppressed.
“There are recovery plans in place to catch up on lost time and the contractors have requested extension of time and these are under review,” said Moeti.
He further stated that the NWTGC project is split into two phases. He said phase 1 of the project is 400/200/132KV transmission lines from Morupule B to Letlhakane/Orapa, Maun, Toteng, Gumare Samochima and Ghanzi including the associated substations. Regarding Phase 2, he stated that transmission lines from Phokoje substation to Dukwi, Pandamatenga and Kasane including associated substations are currently on hold due to financial constraints.
“Consultation and way leave started in March 2017 and to date progress of about 75 percent has been achieved,” he said.
The project leader Moeti admitted that progress was affected by challenges to finanlise the assessment dates with some Land Boards due to other engagements.
He added that the current constrains are with Ghanzi farms and Shakawe assessment as well as pending compensation reports from Sehithwa to Kuke area. Moeti stated that Phase 1 is divided into four lots for consultancy services adding that the four lots were subdivided into nine packages for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works. He said EPC contracts were signed on the 10 November 2017 and works commenced on the 4th December 2017.
“BPC will at completion of this project own intellectual property rights for 400 KV and 132 KV tower designs which we previously procured from ESKOM,” said Moeti.
He also spoke of the acceptance tests where he stated that manufacturing of equipment and materials which started in March 2018 and is 95 percent complete. He added that equipment and materials are from places like India, China, Italy, Ukraine, Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana. He stated that contractors have committed in line with Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) policy to procure locally supplied goods.
“On the employment of Batswana citizens, the NWTGC project to date has 2,224 Batswana as Engineers, Supervisors, Technicians, Trademan, unskilled labour and graduates. These numbers are expected to increase,” said Moeti.
The NWTGC project is aimed at providing grid access to Northwest part of the country including the Chobe and Ghanzi Districts and the said areas are currently being supplied from Namibia through cross border distribution networks with limited capacity. The cost of the project is P2.355 billion.