Mmegi Online :: Power imports halve as Morupule B improves
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Last Updated
Friday 25 May 2018, 14:11 pm.
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Power imports halve as Morupule B improves

The volume of electricity imports more than halved in the first quarter of this year as local generation was ramped up with Morupule B now producing more than half of its capacity.
By Staff Writer Wed 05 Jul 2017, 16:23 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Power imports halve as Morupule B improves








Official figures released by Statistics Botswana (SB) this week show that, during the first quarter of 2017, imported electricity decreased by 63.9% from 523,736 Mega Watt Hour (MWH) to 189,052 MWH when compared to importation during the first quarter of 2016.

“The decrease in imported electricity could be seen to be a result of increased production to reduce reliance on importation,” said SB.

According to the SB figures, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, imported electricity during the first quarter of 2017 shows a decrease of 17.3% from 228,543 MWH during the fourth quarter of 2016.

The physical volume of electricity generation during the first quarter of 2017 stood at 698,451 MWH, giving an increase of 57.4% as compared to the generation of 443,628 MWH during the first quarter of 2016.

Generation from the troubled Morupule B power station seems to be increasing as it now stands at 390 MW from 260 MW in the last part of 2016.

On full operation, Morupule B is expected to produce about 520 MW, the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) says. 

However, when compared to the last quarter of 2016, the volume of electricity generated during the first quarter of 2017 shows a decrease of 10.8% to 698,451 MWH.

“This decrease is partly influenced by the reduced use of emergency power generators which account for about one percent of electricity generated locally,” said SB.

Addressing the media

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recently, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Sadique Kebonang said there is enough power to avoid any load shedding during the current winter season.

This winter, current peak demand is around 550 MW and it is being met by three units at Morupule B (450 MW nominal) and the balance from Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP), EDM (Mozambique) and Eskom. 

Unit 4 at Morupule B is scheduled to come back on line in July 2017, at which point 100% of national demand will be met for the duration of the winter, Kebonang said.

The first unit of the refurbished Morupule A power station has started working with all four units expected to be working by December 2017 and generating 130 MW.

Botswana is facing power supply deficit and relies on electricity imports from South Africa and Mozambique, but the 300 MW expansion of the coal-fired Morupule B power could pave the way of the country to attain self-sufficiency in electricity generation.

However, the expansion of the plant has been stalled by a dispute with the contractor over a sovereign guarantee.

BPC plans to add another 800 MW electricity capacity in the next five years through coal, gas and solar-fired plants.

The current maximum demand for Botswana is estimated at 681 MW and is expected to grow by 336 MW to 1,017 MW in 2025.

The country’s installed generating capacity stands at 927 MW.

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