Friday, September 22, 2023

Morupule B still fails to power Batswana

The troubled Morupule B power station continues to experience perennial plant reliability challenges due to equipment and construction defects. 

Currently two Units are in operation generating 230MW. One unit is out of service for remedial maintenance and the completion date for the remediation is significantly delayed by, an annoying unavailability of contractor’s personnel who could not travel from China due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

This was confirmed by the Minister of Minerals Resources, Green Technology and Energy, Lefoko Moagi told Parliament during an update on his ministry’s proposals for Mid-Term Review of the National Development Plan 11 (NDP 11).

He stated that Botswana’s current electricity demand (capacity) stands at about 600 MW (maximum demand) and an electrical energy demand of approximately 3290 GWh for all sectors of the economy which includes industries, services and households. He said this demand is expected to increase proportionally with the country’s economic growth up to 1,445 MW (maximum demand) and 8,637 GWh (Annual Energy Demand) by year 2040, assuming an average GDP growth of 3.6 percent. 

“The current electricity demand is met through local generation and imports. One of the key energy sector deliverables for NDP11 is increasing self-reliance on the country’s energy resources and sources,” said Moagi.

He further stated that Botswana is looking into increasing diversification and supporting the development of the economy by securing competitive, cost-reflective and sustainable electricity. He added that ss such the country has developed a 20 year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for the power sector which will encompass projections of future energy demand and development of the least cost energy supply, as well as due consideration to the demographic dynamics and level of economic activity. 

“As per the Statistics Botswana survey of 2015/16, the total number of households with access to electricity in the Country was 598 909. Out of these, 363 471 households are connected to the network bringing the electrification level to 60.7%. North West Transmission Grid,” Moagi stated.

He also spoke of the North West Transmission Grid Line project which he said it is ongoing at 90 percent completion. He added that the project is expected to be completed by December 2020, and that it will greatly enhance the reliability and security of power supply in the North Western region of the country. Moagi said this project will reduce reliance on expensive diesel power generation which is currently the major energy source for mining companies in the same region.

“Work is in progress to construct three new transmission sub-stations in Mochudi, Tlokweng and Ramotswa, which are planned for completion in 2021,” he said.

He believes that BPC is aggressively pursuing the use of locally manufactured products such as cables, transformers, and concrete poles as part of the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) initiatives.


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