Botswana’s procuring body, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) has given the nod to government’s request to award Owners Engineer contract for 300MW greenfield energy project as Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) moves to plug the energy gap.
The country has two coal fired power stations namely; Morupule A, which is under care-and-maintenance and the struggling 600MW Morupule B.
PPADB said in state owned Daily News that it has “approved” the tender number PR 10/1/3/14-4 as per the request from procuring ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources.
The request was in relation to the recommendation to award the tender for consultancy services (owners engineer) for the development of a 300MW Coal Fired Power Station (Greenfield) in Botswana in respect of Aurecom Pty at a cost of BWP 52, 000,591.23.
Equally, the PPADB approved a request by the ministry for clarification on proposed fees from Worley Parsons Resources & Energy/ Knight Piesold Consulting Joint Venture (JV), regarding the consultancy services (owners engineer) for the expansion project at Morupule Power Station Units 5 & 6 (Brownfield) Phase 3.
The Owner’s Engineer will overlook the addition of 2 more units at Morupule namely Units 5 and 6 (Brownfield).
The complex currently has 6 units after the addition of 4 units at Morupule B, which is still struggling to work at full capacity. Morupule A remains under care and maintenance and estimates have shown it would need over P1.4 billion to be brought to life.
The troubled Morupule B cost P11 billion and media reports have indicated that the second phase of the project would cost P8 billion, which will also include the refurbishment of Morupule A that was estimated could cost P1.4 billion.
The brownfield project consists of extending the existing power station by designing, financing, constructing, owning, operating and maintaining a 2 x 150MW coal fired power plant to be built at the pithead of Morupule Coal Mine.
The award of owners engineer contract will be followed by the naming of the winner of the 300MW greenfield coal fired power station contractor to an independent power producer (IPP).
Kitso Mokaila, the minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, stated that two bidders remain and that PPADB will name the winner of the tender soon.
“I am happy to share with you that the ministry is making good progress towards awarding of 300MW power project to an Independent Power Producer (IPP),” Mokaila said at the Connecting Resources and Society conference held in Gaborone from 23 – 24 November 2015.
Mokaila added that the refurbishment and rehabilitation of Morupule A and B power stations has commenced to improve its availability and reliability to ensure security of power for the country. Morupule A is hoped would produce 114MW into the grid while Morupule B has 4 units each producing 150MW or 600MW combined.
The 27 year old Morupule A has not been maintained for a long time which forced government to put it under care and maintenance programme—but government was forced to revive the plant following the failure of the multibillion pula Morupule B power station.
“I hope PPADB would make a decision by Thursday next week,” he said, adding that he expects Morupule A to come on stream by the end of 2016.
Botswana needs around 600MW of power and would export the rest to the region where electricity is slowly becoming a luxury.
“So, we should be net exporter by 2018”. Botswana sits on 212 billion tones of estimated coal reserves with a number of exploration companies sitting on the sidelines awaiting government’s pronouncement on the IPP policy that would help monetise most of the resources.
Most of the explorers are now forging partnerships with South African energy companies in a bid to be considered for the South African Coal Base Load IPP programme. Already, a company like Shumba Energy has an agreement in place with Mulilo Renewable Project Developments (Pty) Ltd to jointly develop of the Mabesekwa Export Independent Power Plant (MEIPP) at the Mabesekwa Coal Project.