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Power outage hits Botswana

Botswana has been hit by a series of power outages following faults in the system and the delay in completing the country’s new 600MW power station, Morupule B, that has been scheduled to be ready by the end of 2012.

Minerals, Resources and Energy Minister Kitso Mokaila, speaking on national broadcaster Botswana Television, said two units (300MW) are expected to return to service by the end of the week, with the third one expected by the end of February.

“I wish to appeal to all electricity consumers, across all consumer categories, to heed the call to conserve and use electricity efficiently,” said Mokaila.

According to the minister, the construction of the first three units of Morupule B is now complete, and the units have been able to generate electricity into the national grid, providing much-needed support to the country’s security of supply.

“However, in addition to the delays, Morupule B has experienced several teething problems, which have led to inconsistent availability and operation of the completed units,” the minister said.

The power outages have been worsened by the failure of South Africa’s electricity company, Eskom, to supply 200MW to Botswana Power Corporation, under the contingency electricity supply arrangement to mitigate delays in the delivery of Morupule B.

Botswana and South Africa signed a contingency electricity supply agreement in December 2012, after a 2008 electricity supply agreement with Eskom expired on 31 December 2012.


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