The government is committed to ensuring that a number of electricity projects and programmes are implemented in order to improve power supply in the country, says the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources.
Officially opening the 45th Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) meetings yesterday (September 1), Mr Kgomotso Abi said when the projects and programmes were realised, they would not only provide adequate and secure power to Botswana, but would also see the country exporting electricity to the SAPP.
“The Morupule A Power Station with an installed capacity of 132MW was put under care and maintenance in August 2012, and plans are at an advanced stage to refurbish the 27-year-old plant for commercial operation by 2016/17.
Other generation expansion projects which the government has embarked on for long-term security of electricity supply include a Brownfield 300MW gross power station and Morupule B units 5 and 6,” he said.
On renewable energy, Mr Abi said the government has recently closed an expression of interest for a 100MW solar project planned to be commissioned by 2017/18.
He also noted that the government has embarked on transmission grid extensions and network reinforcement projects such as the North West transmission grid connection project which would extend the grid to the North West, Chobe and Ghanzi district.
“The second Morupule-Isang 400kv line will be constructed as part of the transmission infrastructure requirements for integrating the planned generation expansion at Morupule B (Unit 5 and 6),” he said.
Furthermore, he said “the Botswana-South Africa interconnector is one of the key strategic projects which will interconnect the two countries and other SAPP countries. This interconnector will decongest the Matimba-Phokoje-Insukamini line and increase avenues for regional electricity trading,” he said.
Mr Abi said the recommendations that would be made at the meetings would have a regional impact, and that Botswana was committed to playing its part. He said his ministry and the government would continue to support Botswana Power Corporation and create a conducive environment for investors in the power sector.
Source : BOPA