Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Energy Resources, Kitso Mokaila, says government intends to bring relief to profit-squeezed mining companies by allowing them to defer payment of mineral royalties.
When addressing the 13th Botswana Resource Sector Conference at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC), Mokaila said the short term relief would assist the mining industry on a case by case basis for mutual benefit.
He said the country was going all out to overcome its energy and water challenges by addressing short term issues while also working on the long-term goal of achieving energy self sufficiency by 2019.
In the immediate term, Mokaila said, the troubled Morupule B power station’s 600MW power plant boilers were undergoing repairs.
He added that major repairs would continue over the next two years and that the power plant was targeted for a 30-year life span.
Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) on the other hand, Mokaila said, was working on increasing the capacity of its diesel peaking plant to 195MW by the end of July and that the 33MW units at Morupule A would be completed by next year while the fourth is scheduled for completion by 2017. “A decision has been made to refurbish 4 X 33MW Morupule A Power Station, which is currently under care and maintenance, in a way that brings into service 3 X 33MW Units by winter of 2016 and the fourth unit by winter of 2017, and an option of building a new 150MW Unit by 2018,” he said.
In order to meet increasing water demand, the Minister said, government continues to develop the necessary infrastructure such as pipelines and wellfields.
He added that his Ministry was preparing for the detailed designs of the North – South Carrier 2 (NSC 2) pipeline from Palapye to Mmamashia and Chobe – Zambezi pipeline from Kazungula to Moralane near Serule. “The latter pipeline will feed into the North – South Carrier Programme. The target is for this pipeline to supply water to Francistown, Tonota, Serule and other villages upstream of Francistown en-route to Moralane”
Given the current situation of water shortages, Mokaila said, both pipelines would be fast tacked in order to deliver water to the eastern and southern part of the country sooner than originally planned.