Eskom set to import Botswana electricity
November 14, 2006 Business
Day/All Africa Global Media
Eskom was set to import 70% of the
3600MW electricity that would be generated at the
new $5,5bn Mmamabula power station in Botswana,
the power utility said yesterday.
station will be built and managed by a Canadian
firm, CIC Energy Corporation, and its UK partner,
plant, which is expected to come on stream in 2011,
will be the largest coal-fired power station in
Africa to be built and operated by an independent
electricity will boost Eskom's dwindling energy
reserves, which have been put under severe pressure
by SA's buoyant economy and government's electrification
that its peaking capacity of 36000MW will run out
next year, followed by base load in 2010, if measures
are not taken now
SA will have
to generate about 12000MW-15000MW more power a year
from 2009 to 2020 to meet growth in demand.
the signing of a power purchase agreement between
Eskom, CIC and the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC),
Eskom CEO Thulani Gcabashe said electricity demand
in the entire southern African region was growing
at an average rate of 3% a year.
to the welcomed growth in the regional demand for
electricity, the Southern African power pool has
placed firmly on its agenda the need to increase
electricity generation capacity in the region. At
present, the installed capacity in the pool is about
50000MW, with the region's surplus generation capacity
almost diminished," said Gcabashe.
The CEO said
the capacity expansion programmes included the rehabilitation
and building of hydropower plants in Angola, Malawi,
Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A number of
these hydro projects would be operational by 2010,
stations would also be built in Namibia, Botswana,
Mozambique and Zimbabwe in addition to SA's R20bn
power plant in Lephalale.
excited that the need to increase the electricity
generation capacity of the region has now moved
beyond the initial planning phase" Gcabashe
said in reference to the planned construction of
the Mmamabula plant next year.
Ewetse Rakhudu said an additional investment of
$1,2bn would be needed a year to build new generating
capacity in the region.