The importation of electricity decreased in the first half of the year while the physical volume of electricity generation went up in the same period according to Statistics Botswana.
The government statistics organisation said on its new report titled Electricity Generation and Distribution in the first quarter of 2015 that in the first quarter, the volume of imported electricity amounted to 451,092 MWH, when compared to 616,206 MWH recorded during the first quarter of 2014.
This shows that the importation of electricity declined by 26.8 percent between the first quarter of 2015 and the same quarter of 2014.
“Comparison of the first quarter of 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2014 importation shows a decrease of 59, 219 MWH, representing a decline of 11.6 percent from 510, 311 MWH during the fourth quarter of 2014 to 451, 092 MWH during the first quarter of 2015,” Statistics Botswana said.
“The country imported less electricity not because there was increased local production, but because the source could not meet demand,” it added. This can be explained by the fact that South Africa’s Eskom limited exports to Botswana as it is also facing its own power shortages.
The index of the physical volume of electricity generation stood at 370.3 during the first quarter of 2015, which is an increase of 63.5 percent over the index of 226.4 during the same quarter in 2014. As compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, the index for the physical volume of electricity generated increased by 3.2 percent from 358.9 during the fourth quarter of 2014 to 370.3 during 2015 first quarter.
“In order to offset the electricity shortages, the Botswana Power Corporation increased output of the emergency power generators located at Orapa and Matsiloje to feed into the national power grid, even though this did not completely meet the demand,” explained Statistics Botswana.
The physical volume of electricity generated increased by 15,947 MWH from 502, 881 MWH during the fourth quarter of 2014 to 518, 828 MWH during 2015 first quarter.
“This shows an increase of 3.2 percent over the three months period. The Morupule A power plant is currently shut down and there has not been any production at the plant during the period under review. Electricity generation has been solely on the Morupule B power plant.”
Botswana imports 100MW from South Africa and there is another non-firm 200MW—which means Eskom can feed Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) when it has excess.