The P11 billion Morupule B Power Station might have taken longer to complete, but the 600 MW project made a significant contribution to growth in Botswana’s Gross Domestic Product during the second quarter of 2014.
Statistics Botswana data, which contains preliminary estimates at current and constant prices for the second period of the year, showed GDP registered an overall increase of 1.6 percent.
The government’s statistics body revealed that the estimated GDP at current prices for the second quarter of 2014 was P36 054.1 million compared to a revised level of P32 704.9 million registered in the first quarter of 2014.
On the other hand, the estimated GDP at constant 2006 prices for the second quarter of 2014 was P20 283.5 million compared to P19 958.1 million registered in the first quarter of 2014, recording an increase of 1.6 percent.
Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) went up by 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to 7.3 percent accrued in the same quarter in 2013.
Statistics Botswana said most of the increase was attributed to Water & Electricity, Trade, Hotels & Restaurants and Transport & communications which increased by 31.6, 9.8 and 6.3 percent respectively.
“The improvement in real value added of the Water & Electricity sector was due to a 95.1 percent increase in the electricity local production which led to a substantial decrease in intermediate consumption,” said the GDP estimates.
“The decrease in intermediate consumption was because imported electricity went down by 44.9 percent,” it added.
According to Statistics Botswana’s Electricity Generation and Distribution Stats Brief for the first quarter of 2014, the physical volume of electricity generation stood at 418.3 during the first quarter of 2014. This was an increase of 13.4 percent over the same quarter of the previous year (2013).
“The latter is attributed to the commissioning of three of the four Morupule B Power plant generators which was done towards the end of July 2013. Furthermore, this increase is attributable to the continued use of emergency generators located at Orapa and Matsiloje, to feed into the national grid.”
During the first quarter of 2014, the volume of imported electricity amounted to 616, 205 MWH, when compared to 595, 429 MWH imported during first quarter of 2013.
The importation of electricity increased by 3.5 percent between the first quarter of 2013 and that of 2014. This slight increase in imported electricity is attributed to technical problems experienced in Morupule B Power plant during the months of February and March 2014, resulting in more importation of electricity to compensate for the shortage.
During the first quarter of 2014 the volume of electricity distributed stood at 933,451 MWH, showing an increase of 6.7 percent from 874,871 MWH of electricity distributed during first quarter of 2013.
“This increase can be attributed to the increase in both local generation and importation of electricity to meet the local demand.”
All other sectors of the economy recorded a positive growth of more than 1.5 percent over the period except mining, which recorded a decrease of 3.8 percent. The decrease in the real value added of the mining sector was blamed on diamond and copper/nickel production which registered a negative growth of 1.5 and 21.3 percent respectively.
However, mining continues to be the largest contributor to GDP; its contribution to GDP stands at 26.6 percent in second quarter of 2014 followed by Trade, Hotels & Restaurants and General Government at 14.5 percent and 13.7 percent respectively.
The statistics body revealed that the real exports of goods and services decreased by 5.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to an increase of 59.2 percent recorded in the same quarter of 2013, while imports of goods and services registered a decrease of 6.0 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to 23.4 percent increase registered in the same quarter of 2013.
Revisions have been made to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates published in June 2014.The change was due to the updated source data and has affected the following industries; Electricity & Transport. Transport sector was revised from second quarter of 2013 while Electricity sector the revision was on the first quarter of 2014.