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BPC determined to overcome power struggle

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REASSURING: Schwarzfischer

Government’s reliance on other countries to supply and connect power to Botswana may soon be a thing of the past if the North West Transmission Grid Connection Project announced by Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) tonight is anything to go by.

Once the P4.8 billion project is complete, it is expected to open up opportunities to reduce dependency on power imports from Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

When delivering his speech during the signing ceremony, BPC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Stephan Schwarzfischer said the project will help to meet the local demand for electricity while on the other hand playing an economic role in exporting power from Botswana to the SADC region through the Southern African Power Pool Market.

“The NWTG Phase 1 will see the construction of 400 000V backbone transmission line from Morupule B to Maun via Orapa, two 400kV substations and a 132 KV line and substations connecting Maun to Shakawe and Ghanzi.”

Schwarzfischer said that the first phase will cost P2.4 billion while the Phase II will take the other P2.4 billion.

He said that Phase II will be implemented from August 2018 and is targeted for conclusion by October 2020. “We are currently evaluating the tenders we have received for Phase II of the NWTG project and we should conclude the process by January 2018.”

The BPC CEO said that the corporation will be increasing its human resources capacity including training of staff over the next two years to cater for operations and maintenance of the extended grind to ensure reliable power supply when the project gets into the operational phase by end of 2019.

Three companies, Kalpataru Pty LTD, Consolidated Power Projects and Larsen and Tourbo Limited have been commissioned for the Phase 1.

The Phase 1 has been divided into nine stages and each contractor will construct and commission three of the nine stages. “This was a conscious decision made by BPC in order to balance capacity and ensure efficient implementation of the project,” explained the CEO.