BPC GETS MORE POWER SUPPLY
Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) Chief Executive Officer, Jacob Raleru, says the corporation has entered into a new contract with Eskom to mitigate against the power outages that plagued the country following the expiry of their 5-year contract.
Speaking on the sidelines following Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Minister, Kitso Mokaila’s tour of Isang’s Farm Substation on Sunday, Raleru dismissed suggestions that the corporation had been reluctant to renew the contract as they hoped that Morupule B would be operational.
“That contract was signed in 2008 and ended last December after the agreed 5 years.
We knew very well before it expired that we’d face such shortages and that is why we have now sought this new contract that will cover us in the medium and short term,” he said.
South Africa has gradually reduced electricity export for the past years to meet rising domestic demand.
In January 2010, Escom reduced imports to Botswana from 350MW to 250MW in accordance with the five-year Purchase Agreement which commenced on 1st January 2008. Imports from Eskom were further reduced by a 100MW at the end of 2010.
Raleru however said the new deal that will see BPC getting 100MW on a firm basis and an additional 200MW on a non-firm basis until the end of July was only a temporary relief until the completion of Morupule B.
“We will continue to experience load shedding until Morupule B is in full commercial operation. At the moment the plant is not operating as anticipated.
Three of the units are complete and have been tested but two are still undergoing further repairs while the fourth one is under construction,” he said.
The BPC boss further said Morupule A power station needed to be refurbished for full generation capacity.
“There is a long term project for the refurbishment of the plant, after which we expect a full capacity of Morupule A, which is 116MW to be available from 2015 to 2016,” he said.
Meanwhile installation of pre-paid metres in urban areas around the country is in full-swing and Raleru advised members of the public to cooperate with BPC personnel. “But they have to be wary of opportunistic criminals who pose as BPC employees,” he added.