One of the key energy sector deliverables for National Development Plan (NDP) 11 is increasing self-reliance on the country’s energy resources and sources, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Mr Lefhoko Moagi has said.

When presenting the Ministry’s NDP11 Mid-Term Review in Parliament on Monday under thematic area of Economy and Employment, Mr Moagi said Botswana was therefore looking into increasing diversification and supporting the development of the economy by securing competitive, cost-reflective and sustainable electricity.

In this regard, Mr Moagi indicated that the country had developed a 20-year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for the power sector, which would encompass projections of future energy demand and development of the least-cost energy supply, as well as due consideration to the demographic dynamics and level of economic activity.

While meeting projected energy demand, Minister Moagi said the IRP determined the most efficient, least-cost and environmentally friendly energy generation and supply.

He also highlighted that Morupule A power station was refurbished, with all the four units now in commercial operation following the successful refurbishment of the plant, which commenced in December 2015 and was completed in February 2020.

He indicated that the plant now delivered a consistent 100MW into the grid after the refurbishment exercise, which was aimed at recovering plant degradation after 26 years of operation.

Meanwhile the minister said through Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), the ministry had been implementing initiatives to address concerns raised by the Global Competitiveness report, in particular getting electricity.

He indicated that BPC had put in place initiatives to improve the turnaround times for issuing quotations by the adopted instant quotation method and pre-qualifying citizen contractors and consultants to expedite the connection process.

Parliament also learnt that as for commercial customers, BPC was working on reducing the burden to small businesses by reviewing the security requirements and making it optional for large businesses to procure construction materials in line with the BPC standards.

In addition, he said BPC was aggressively pursuing the use of locally manufactured products such as cables, transformers and concrete poles as part of the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) initiatives.

With regards to strategies for electricity generation infrastructure to meet growing energy demand, he said such projects entailed implementation of a 100MW Solar Photovoltaic Plants and a total of 35MV grid tied Solar Photovoltaic by 2022.

He said such projects were currently under procurement, and would be implemented through Independent Power Producers.

He said a 10MW coal Bed Methane plant, which was currently under procurement, was planned to be operational by 2025, while the 200MW Concentrated Solar Plant was planned to be operational by the year 2026.

Regarding petroleum products, he said government had embarked on the development of a more strategic fuel storage capacity to augment the existing strategic storage, which had generally been less than 14 days cover against the preferred 18 days cover.

He said government had also initiated the construction of additional facilities such as Tshele Hills project with a capacity of 186 million litres, Ghanzi depot (35 million litres), while the existing Francistown facility would be expanded by 60 million litres of petroleum products.

The three projects, he said, would deliver a total of 301 million litres, which would translate into at least 60 days of strategic storage supply cover for the country, thereby improving the security of supply of petroleum products.

Minister Moagi therefore put before Parliament to approve the sum of P3.6 billion and stand as part of the NDP 11 Mid-term Review budget.

 

Source: Botswana Daily News

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