Solar energy is one other alternative for Botswana
Botswana, the landlocked country will still import power from outside, even with the completion of the troubled Morupule B power plant. This was disclosed by Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) Acting Chief Executive, Edward Rugoyi during the utility’s public hearing on its proposed electricity application made to Botswana Energy regulatory agency earlier in the week. “When we are through with Morupule B (remedial works), we’ll still need additional capacity because our demand is growing,” said Rugoyi. He was answering an issue from BERA Chief military officer, Rose Seretse on whether the completion of Morupule B power plant
will cause a cut on the external purchase of power. The multi-billion Pula power plant features a capacity to provide the country with 600mw of power at any given time.
However, after construction some years ago, the station has never operated at full capacity and is currently undergoing remedial works until March 2023. This has resulted in BPC purchasing more power from outside to satisfy the increasing demand. The BPC CEO said demand is additionally expected to surge on the backdrop of the expected opening of the latest mines within the short to medium term. New mines that are expected to return into stream within the short to medium term include Khoemacau Copper and Tshukudu Metals copper mines within the northwest and Gantsi regions respectively.
More pressure to the national grid is predicted if the government or new investors were to resuscitate BCL mine in Selebi Phikwe.
The mine, before its closure, some few years ago, was the most important consumer of electricity within the world. Botswana’s current demand for electricity is over 580 MW. About 48 percent of this demand is met within Botswana while the remainder in imported mainly from Southern Africa’s power pool.
In the past, experts have called on the country to diversify its energy sources. Botswana has more sunlight which may be harnessed for solar power. Tenders for solar power procurement are at various stages.