Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Botswana Receives €153.00 million to Finance Morupule B Power Project

In October 2009, the African Development Bank approved a loan of €153 million to the Government of Botswana to finance part of the construction of a 600 MW (4 x 150 MW) coal fired power plant and associated transmission infrastructure. The Morupule B plant will be located adjacent to the existing Morupule A plant and connected to the national grid by two new transmission lines.

The Southern African region as a whole is experiencing power generation deficits as a result of higher demand growth than previously projected over the past decade. Botswana has relied until now on electricity imported to meet its growing demand (500 MW in 2008 and around 600 MW projected for 2012). In 2008, 80% of electricity consumption in Botswana consisted of imports from neighboring countries, notably from South Africa. The remaining 20% was generated by the country’s Morupule A, a 25-year-old plant that has become increasingly unreliable. Thus, the Morupule B project will increase household access from 47% to 80% by 2016 and will also enable Botswana to become a net energy exporter by 2014.

The project is estimated to cost €972.6 million. The works for the project started in June 2009 and the four generation units are scheduled to come online sequentially between January and October 2012. The power transmission system will be commissioned by December 2011.