Thursday, August 6, 2020

Irish company takes over BPC management

The country’s ailing power utility, Botswana Power Corporation, has joined another government parastatal, Air Botswana, in becoming the second corporation owned by government to be run through a consultancy.

Botswana Power Corporation board chairman, Sebetlela Sebetlela, confirmed this week that global energy company ESB International (ESBI) has been given a tender to take over as new managers at BPC.
The energy consultancy firm based in Ireland has been given a period of three years to ensure that that BPC achieve performance turnaround and organisational transformation.

ESB, a global engineering consultancy business company last year opened a new office in Johannesburg, South Africa after it reported that it has seen strong demand and growth for its engineering consultancy services. The South African office act as a hub for ESBI’s operations in all of Southern and Sub-Saharan Africa countries including Botswana.

Confirming the latest development, Sebetlela said, “A decision has been taken by the Botswana Power Corporation Board and the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources that BPC should become subject to a Management Contract for a period of three years to enable the Corporation to achieve performance turnaround and organisational transformation.”

The BPC board chairman says that the decision was taken pursuant to a Business Operations Review consultancy that was carried out on BPC by ESB International Limited in 2013.

The change process for BPC is largely brought about by the Corporation’s transformation from a retailer of power to an electricity generator with a higher asset base due to increased generation and transmission infrastructure.

A statement written by the BPC and signed by Sebetlela says that it is imperative that BPC be transformed from its current operating status to a financially viable power utility and a BPC 2018 end state strategy has been developed to achieve this.

Sebetlela says the external expertise brought by ESB will assist BPC to ready itself for competition in the electricity industry in line with Government’s decision to open up the market to independent power producers.

“With the imminent setting up of an electricity regulator, BPC will also be assisted to prepare itself to operate within a regulated environment. The Management Contract service provider shall take over the operations of Botswana Power Corporation for a three year period to facilitate the transformation.”

Meanwhile it is also expected that the current management and staff of BPC will participate in the transformation process with a view to leading the transformed organisation at the end of the contract period.

“At the end of the three year Management Contract the service provider will deliver a transformed BPC in line with the agreed performance indicators,” Sebetlela said.

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Sunday Standard August 2 – 8

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of August 2 - 8, 2020.