Botswana To Be Power Exporter By 2018′

Blessed with an abundance of renewable energy sources and buoyed by an overwhelming response from the private sector to government’s ambitions to grow the sector, Botswana, a net importer of electricity today, has set its sights on becoming a regional powerhouse and major exporter in the next few years.


An upbeat Minister of Energy, Minerals and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila, said President Ian Khama’s government was β€œleaving no stone unturned” in its bid to become a net supplier of the scarce commodity in the near future.

β€œI am 100 percent sure that we will be a main exporter of power by 2018,” Mokaila assured mining executives at a base metals beneficiation forum in Francistown, Botswana’s second largest city situated 430km north of the capital, Gaborone.

The national power utility, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), produces 470MW at its coal-fired Morupule B Power Plant situated at Palapye in the central part of the country. Botswana’s national power demand currently stands at an average of 550MW in summer and between 610MW and 620MW in winter, according to the minister.

β€œAt the moment, we are importing just between 80MW and 150MW from neighbouring South Africa’s Eskom,” Mokaila said in an interview on the sidelines of the base metals beneficiation forum. The minister projected that this would be a thing of the past beginning 2018.

Botswana Chamber of Mines chief executive officer Charles Siwawa said the landlocked country had a massive abundance and potential to produce electricity from gas and solar.

β€œBesides making the country an exporter, this will go a long way in ensuring that Botswana has enough power supply to run its mining houses scattered across the breadth and length of the country,” said Siwawa..

Botswana is also banking on a government-to-government agreement with Israel, the Middle Eastern country that is a key global player in the energy sector. The two countries are said to be close to a deal on the production of an additional 900MW of electricity through solar energy.

β€œThere is power and light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mokaila.



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