Gaborone, Botswana — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 17 January 2011 – Botswana “’ the world’s biggest diamond producer “’ is expecting to experience frequent power outages over the next two years because of reduced supply from South Africa, according to the state-run Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).
“Eskom Holdings Limited reduced supply to Botswana to 150MW last week from 250MW in line with a five-year agreement,” BPC communications manager Tlhomamiso Selato told reporters in the Botswana capital. “While the mining industry will be affected, a 90MWt plant being built by Debswana Diamond Company “’ a joint venture between the government of Botswana and De Beers SA for its mines “’ will help limit the impact,” he said.
“The best option available for alleviating the constrained demand-supply imbalance and avoiding rolling service interruptions is efficient use of electricity by consumers,” Selato added.
Eskom, the largest provider of power in southern Africa, is trying to meet rising demand in South Africa by boosting capacity and cutting transfers to neighboring countries. It has gradually reduced supply to Botswana in line with an agreement that ends in 2012.
Botswana’s Morupule plant, which currently provides about 17% of the country’s electricity, is being expanded, with extra power available in 2013, Selato said. Botswana is increasing capacity at the plant to 600MW from 120MW, according to BPC.