10 May 2022
Botswana is planning to construct a 200-megawatt (MW) power plant, inviting bids from independent power producers.
The country is aiming to bolster power generation and increase renewable energy use, Reuters reports.
As per a report by Botswana’s Ministry of Minerals and Energy, the bid will comprise of financing, construction, operation and maintenance, along with decommissioning the plant at the end of its economic life.
"The project, comprising of two units of 100 MW each, will be required to be commercially online by 2026/2027 and will sell all the energy produced and capacity to the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) through a Power Purchase Agreement," said the Ministry’s document.
The deadline to submit bids for this project ends on 8th June.
Global solar data agency Solargis.com affirmed that Botswana has some of the world’s highest levels of direct normal irradiation – measuring sunlight levels – surpassing 3,000 kWh/m2 per year.
Yet Botswana has no large-scale solar power generation. As it stands, the country’s 600 MW energy demand is mainly met by state-owned coal-fired plants and imports, predominantly from South Africa.
As part of a two-decade resource plan given the green light in 2020, Botswana is planning the addition of over 600 MW of solar and coal-fired power by 2026, as it looks to move away from imports and focus on power exports.
With over 212 billion tonnes of coal, the country’s power generation is forecast to stay fossil fuel-dominated in the short-term. However, Botswana aims to have a minimum of 18% of national production generated from renewables by 2030.