Govt extends bidding for 200MW tender

Eyeing solar: Moagi says several renewable energy projects are in pipeline PIC: MBONGENI MGUNI
Eyeing solar: Moagi says several renewable energy projects are in pipeline PIC: MBONGENI MGUNI

Minerals and Energy minister, Lefoko Moagi, says government's tender for a private contractor to develop a 200 megawatt Concentrated Solar-Thermal Power (CSP) plant has been extended to close later this month.

In November 2022, the Ministry published a shortlist of four international firms which it said were in the running to design, finance, and build what will be government’s largest single procurement in renewable energy. The bidders were a consortium comprising Power China Resources Limited and Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation III, another partnership involving the China-Africa Development Fund and Shouhang High Tech Energy, as well as ACWA Power Company and Cobra Industrial Services.

However, presenting the Ministry’s budget proposals for the 2024-25 financial year last week, Moagi did not shed light on the shortlist, but rather said the Botswana Power Corporation has secured 100 hectares of land in Maun for the CSP project. He added that the Corporation was seeking an additional 150 hectares for the project from land authorities.

The planned CSP plant, which will use lenses or mirrors to focus a large area of sunlight onto a receiver, is due to be operational by 2027 and is the flagship renewable project in government’s Integrated Resources Plan for energy development in the years to 2040.

The 200MW CSP project dates back to a feasibility study from 2012 which was done as part of the conditions for funding the Morupule B Power Station and represented a firm commitment by government to move away from fossil fuel dependence and towards 'green growth'.

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