BPC buys Matshelagabedi power plant

Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has bought the 70 MW Matshelagabedi diesel power plant. BPC has been renting the plant from APR energy since 2009, under a five-year contract, which was extended by a further year in January 2014.

According to a Ministry of Minerals Energy and Water Resources committee of supply statement distributed to Members of Parliament last week, a decision has also been taken to extend the power plant by 35 MW of diesel generation, bringing the plant capacity to 105 MW.

“The aim is to complete the extension by the onset of the cold season this year and the procurement process is currently ongoing,” reads the statement.

The Matshelagabedi diesel plant together with the 90 MW Orapa Plant, have played a critical role in alleviating electricity shortages in the past five years, as the country faced consistent power outages due to the failure of the 600 MW Morupule B power station.  As part of efforts to secure adequate power, BPC is also currently running tenders for the extension of Morupule B power station by a further 300 MW.

Government has invited seven pre-qualified Independent Power Producers (IPPs) bidders to develop a Morupule B Units 5 and 6 with tenders closing on at the end of April this year. The power plant is expected to be completed in 2018.

IPPs will also be invited to develop a further 300 MW Power Plant and a Coal Mine at a new site, preferably as one economic unit.

“A Project Information Memorandum has been sent to the eight pre-qualified bidders. The target is to have the power plant delivered by 2020,” reads the statement.

Plans are also underway to test the market for possible development of a 100 MW Renewable Energy Power Plant.

Botswana currently has a peak demand of around 600 MW, but that is expected to rise to 850 MW in the next three years as the economy grows.

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