Irish energy company ESB International (ESBI) is reported to be in talks to run Botswana’s electricity network amid Chinese contractors pulling out from state-owned Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).

An ESBI spokesman told Irish newspaper The Herald that members of Botswana’s government and BPC contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland with the view to having ESBI take care of the country’s energy requirements.

“Chinese contractors had been involved but it did not work out so representatives from BPC and Botswana’s government came here in January to see if ESBI could help,” said the source.

He added: “They contacted us initially out of the blue, it is good news for ESBI – it would be a big deal.”

African footprint

ESBI is involved with projects in approximately 17 African countries since the late 1990s and opened an official office if the South African city of Johannesburg last November.

The energy firm has projects either completed or underway in Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana.