27 January 2010 – Botswana is still struggling to meet electricity demand but since January the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has succeeded in securing 50 MW of power from SNEL in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 40 MW from EDM of Mozambique as well as a recently built 70 megawatt (MW) power station. The power station, fired by diesel generators, has now come on line, bringing the total amount of additional power Botswana has secured this year for its precarious supply up to 160 MW.
Although the station is temporary, it should prove to be an effective short term solution while the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) finalizes more long term solutions to their current power crisis. Alstom Power Rentals Energy heads the project and holds a 3 year contract to operate and maintain the power station. In fact, out of all the plants in use by the 14 Southern African Power Pool member utilities, Alstom’s temporary Francistown power project is the largest temporary power plant of its kind to be connected to the grid.
Currently 19 percent of the Botswana’s national demand is supplied by Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and the DRC, and it receives the balance of its supplies from South Africa’s Eskom and the Morupule Power Station. BPC is spearheading the expansion of the Morupule Power Station in an attempt bridge the supply gap but is also actively scouting for regional suppliers and independent power producers.