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BPC to electrify all villages in 2 years

BPC to electrify all villages in 2 years
March 20
10:10 2018

OAITSE MATHALA

The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has indicated that it will have all villages in the country connected to electricity in the next two years. Briefing the media last week, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Stefan Schwarzfischer noted that currently, 92 villages are not connected to electricity, noting that they “will connect these villages in the next two years, and we will have all villages in the country connected. This is a joined effort of Government and BPC.”

While making this effort, the BPC said it also needs to establish a program to connect customers faster and less expensive. “BPC needs to reduce faults and outages as well as response times to its customers. BPC needs to shift its future investments and capacities from generation to distribution,” he said. A total of 399 villages are connected to the electrical grid.

The BPC has embarked on a comprehensive renewable power development strategy, in which it will develop and operate a 100 MW Solar Power Plant (2×50 MW). “The Corporation will also develop and operate mini hybrid power plants in 20 isolated villages (total 30 MW) as a JV. In addition, BPC will build 12 smaller Solar PV Plants in dedicated villages (total 75 MW) as IPPs,” said the CEO, highlighting that the BPC will install power storage containers all over Botswana in order to store the power during the day and dispatch it at night. However, the organisation requires grants for this project.

Giving an update on the Morupule B power plant, Schwarzfischer said remedial works are ongoing. He noted that the negotiations for contract for planning and shutting down of first unit for one year are ongoing between BPC and CNEEC. Three units are currently running (Unit 1, 2 & 4). He continued; “Unit 3 is on planned annual statutory outage and will be back in operation by April 2018. All four units will be operating on full load throughout the winter season.”

The performance of Morupule B Power Station is said to have been improved significantly. Schwarzfischer hinted that the ongoing remediation of the power station will reduce the power imports further and the overall maintenance on Unit 4 will reduce the power import to 4%. “In the future power imports will only cover for the peak demand between 6:00 and 8:00 am as it does not make commercial sense to invest into these generation capacities,” he said.

On the Morupule A, he said there were delays due to implementation of modifications in order to achieve high performance of the plant and stability of power generation. The Plant is expected to be fully operational in July this year and the BPC believes that it will be reliable.

 

 

 

 

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