Lobatse — Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) this week issued licenses to three Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to construct three power stations and generate electricity in Botswana.
The three companies include the Gaborone based Energy & Natural Resource Corporation and Sese Power, which is based in Francistown as well as Tlou Energy, which is listed in the Australian Securities Exchange, London's AIM market and the Botswana Stock Exchange.
The power stations are envisaged to produce a combined maximum daily total of 827 megawatts.
According to terms of their license, Energy & Natural Resource Corporation has been granted authority to construct a 600 megawatts coal-fired power station north of Morupule Colliery in the Central District.
The company is expected to export the electricity they generate to various parties, including the Southern African Power Pool, ZESA and Eskom.
Sese Power, on the other hand, has been granted authority to construct a 225 megawatts coal-fired power station east of Makomoto village near Tonota.
They will then export their electricity to mining companies in Zambia.
The third company, Tlou Energy, will construct a two megawatts coal bed methane fueled power station at Western Sandveld Ranches also in the Central District.
The electricity generated by the power station will be sold to Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) through a power purchase agreement.
The three companies have agreed to build their own transmission lines from the proposed power stations and connect to the BPC transmission network.
Speaking during a handing over of the licenses in Lobatse on Wednesday, BERA chief executive officer, Ms Rose Seretse said it was encouraging to see the three companies enter the electricity-producing sector.
Ms Seretse pointed out that it was high time Botswana came to a point where it no longer imports electricity, but became an exporter of power.
"It has been a journey to arrive where we are today.
But we (BERA) are here to ensure that organisations such as yours add impetus to the economy of this nation.
The work that you do is very important because electricity is very essential," she said.
The mandate of BERA among other things is to provide an efficient regulatory framework for the energy sector, which include the electricity sub-sector and to license and regulate Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
BERA chief operations officer Mr Duncan Morotsi explained that the three companies were the first IPPs in Botswana to be licensed to generate electricity.
"These are big projects and we believe that you will succeed.
We don't only want you to produce for Batswana, we also want you to export to make this one of the revenues earning industries for Botswana," he said.
Mr Gabaake Gabaake of Tlou Energy expressed gratitude at the guidance and facilitation BERA gave the companies during the process of applying for the licenses. He said the development was a significant milestone for the energy sector in this country.
Source : BOPA