16 November 2009 – Zimbabwe and Botswana are scheduled to sign an Inter-Governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before the end of the month for the refurbishment of the Bulawayo Power Station.

The two countries concluded a deal last month that would pave the way for the refurbishment of the plant by June 2010.

Energy ministers from the two countries met in October and agreed address transmission constraints in the Zimbabwe power grid to facilitate increased power transfers to Botswana.

"The ministers agreed to address transmission constraints in the Zimbabwe power grid to facilitate increased power transfers through the country. It was agreed at the meeting that short-term measures be introduced to restore optimal generation capacity of Bulawayo Power Station by June 2010 and to enhance transmission capacity at the Zimbabwe power grid," reads a communiqué issued after the conclusion of the meeting.

Permanent Secretary in the Botswana Ministry of Energy and Water Resources (MEWR), Mr Gabaake Gabaake told the media that Botswana had to come up with strategies to mitigate costs while at the same time giving electricity to its citizens and the rehabilitation of Bulawayo Power Station was a cheaper option.

He said South Africa would reduce its power supply to Botswana by 100 megawatts in 2010, adding that the electricity supply from outside was able to just meet demand leaving no room for reserve electricity.

"From the 90MW produced by the Bulawayo Power Station, Botswana will get about 40MW for a period of three years and Zimbabwe also has the problem of power shortages.”

Both countries have also resolved to identify energy projects to be developed. Such projects include the extension of the Beira-Harare fuel pipeline to Botswana and developing renewable energy. The shift is meant to improve energy security and access to clean energy in the two countries.

Failure to address the mismatch could stifle social and economic development in the two countries.