The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) quoted gas explorer, Tlou Energy which reported a 6 percent slippage at its transmission line project that links its Coal Bed Methane (CBM) extraction and power generation plant to the national grid in September has reported some progress.
In mid-September the energy company said that the slippage to date may be recovered in the coming months.
“Procurement and other issues outside the Company’s control could delay the project further which will be advised in further updates if necessary. However, at this time the transmission line section should remain close to the target completion date of mid-2023,” reads part of the Tlou Energy market update statement issued at the time.
But now fast forward to October, the company says progress is at 16 percent as at the end of September. It has also emerged that Zismo, the construction partner of Tlou plans to source a second drill rig for excavation and pole planting to increase the rate of progress along the line.
The 66kV transmission line construction contract between Tlou and Zismo Engineering was awarded on 2 March 2022 and commenced in April. The contract is expected to take approximately 15 months to complete.
The project follows an agreement between the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Tlou Energy in the last quarter of 2021 through a 10MW Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Tlou Energy, which is partially owned by the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF), was last year awarded a power purchase deal that will see it producing 10 Megawatt for BPC. The transmission line contractor is local contractor ZISMO Engineering.
The CMB project once fully implemented is expected to help state owned BPC with a solution to the country chronic power shortages. According to the latest electricity and generation report for 2022 first quarter (Q1: 2022) produced by Statistics Botswana, the index of Electricity Generation – a key indicator of electricity generation – stood at 151.9 reflecting an increase of 8.2 percent compared to 140.3 recorded during the same period in 2021. The quarter-on-quarter comparison also shows an increase of 36.0 percent, from the index of 111.7 during the fourth quarter of 2021.
The increase has been attributed to improved performance of power generators at the 600 MW Morupule B power station – the country’s biggest power generator powered by four units, and Morupule A. While the electricity generation data shows that the overall domestic power generation improved, it was not enough to meet total domestic demand, forcing the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) to meet the shortfall through imports.