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Improved Morupule B plant boosts power production

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POWER GENERATION: Morupule B

An improved Morupule B Power Station has spurred the production of electricity in the third quarter of 2017, Statistics Botswana (SB) has indicated.

In its latest figures on electricity generation and distribution, SB indicated that the year-on-year comparison of the index of electricity generation reflects an increase of 35.2 percent from 157.3 recorded during the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

“The year-on-year comparison of generated electricity shows an increase of 35.2 percent (232, 586 MWH), from 661, 245 MWH during the third quarter of 2016 to 893,831 MWH during the current quarter,” reads parts of the statistical report.

Statistics Botswana says the physical volume of electricity generation during the third quarter of 2017 stood at 893, 831 MWH, giving an increase of 32.4 percent (218, 784 MWH) as compared to the generation of 675, 047 MWH during the second quarter of 2017.

“This increase is mainly attributable to improved performance of power generators at Morupule B power station due to all the four units being operational during the period under review,” said SB.

Morupule B Power Station provides 90 percent of the country’s domestic power generation.

Due to the improved performance of Morupule B plant’s four units in the current quarter, the volume of imported electricity decreased by 62.6 percent (208 743MWH), from 333 355MWH during the third quarter of 2016 to 124 612MWH during 2017 third quarter.

When compared to the previous quarter, imported electricity during the third quarter of 2017 shows a decrease of 44.4 percent (99 706MWH), from 224 318MWH during the second quarter of 2017 to 124 612MWH during the period under review.

This decrease in imported electricity is attributed to increased generation capacity at Morupule B power station during the quarter under review, therefore less reliance on electricity imports.

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.