Electricity import grows 16%
Updated on : 15-07-2016
The volume of imported electricity in Botswana amounted to 523, 736 MWH during the first quarter of 2016, compared to 451, 092 MWH recorded during the same quarter in 2015, which in effect represented an increase of 16.1 percent or 72, 644 MWH in total.
A recent survey from Statistics Botswana says that the increase in imported electricity was necessary to mitigate against the shortage of locally generated electricity resulting from the operational challenges at the Morupule B power plant.
The survey further states that during the first quarter of 2016, electricity generated locally contributed 45.9 percent to electricity distributed, compared to a contribution of 53.5 percent during the corresponding quarter of 2015 and a contribution of 67.7 percent during the last quarter of 2015.
The generation of electricity in Botswana started in 1985 with a coal fired thermal power station at Morupule operating at a capacity of 132 MWH. Prior to this period, most of Botswana’s electricity was imported from South Africa’s power utility, Eskom. In 2008 South Africa’s electricity demand started to exceed its supply, resulting in the South African government restricting power exports. As a result, Botswana and the entire Southern African region experienced massive power shortages because of the reduced electricity exports from South Africa. To avert the situation, Botswana Government opted for alternative ways of sourcing electricity for the country; hence the plan to increase local generation of electricity at Morupule Power Station. The Morupule Power A plant of capacity 132 MWH was augmented with Morupule Power B which is to have a capacity of 600 MWH upon completion.
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