Botswana: Project to Stimulate Economy

Mawana — The Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security looks forward to more successful power supply infrastructure projects.

Minister Lefoko Moagi said this recently during the launch of the newly constructed North West Transmission Grid connection (NWTGC) project in Mawana.

Minister Moagi stated that the project constituted a huge capital outlay and urged stakeholders within the region to put the infrastructure to optimal use and enjoy the benefits it presented.

He further implored the Ngamiland community to guard against misuse to enable the project to deliver quality and reliable electricity supply to businesses and households in the region.

Mr Moagi acknowledged government's support in the construction of power infrastructure projects to secure power as among key deliverables in his ministry.

He recognised Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) board and management's hard work in ensuring that the project contractors were managed in line with government's statutory requirements to arrive at the commissioning and beneficial operation of the transmission infrastructure.

Mr Moagi said he was looking forward to the completion of the remaining components of the NWTGC infrastructure project that would connect Ghanzi to the nation grid via the transmission line from Legotlhwane substation in Toteng.

He also thanked property owners and farmers who played a role and embraced the development of the transmission infrastructure by acceding to negotiations when they needed to acquire line servitudes.

Maun East MP, Mr Goretetse Kekgonegile stated that history showed that the Ngamiland region had been importing power from Namibia.

He said it was challenging because villages often experienced power cuts especially during the rainy season and that he believed that the Mawana power substation would be a solution.

The project, he said, would also address micro challenges in the areas of Boseja, Gxhabara and Disana where severe shortage of water was experienced because Water Utilities Corporation used a generator to pump water.

He also commended the contractor for delivering quality work within time and on budget.

The project was implemented by Larsen & Toubro Company in collaboration with Kalpatru Power Transmission line from India and Consolidated Power Projects from South Africa.

Mr Kekgonegile also acknowledged government efforts to engage citizen contractors, but expressed concern that at times locals disappointed by failing to deliver on time.

He urged citizen contractors to up their game so that government would have no reason to award tenders to foreign contractors.

BPC chief executive officer, Mr David Kgoboko explained that the project was conceived in 2012 to address power supply challenges experienced by the corporation with regards to supply of adequate electricity to Ngamiland, Chobe and Ghanzi districts.

The Maun area, he said, was supplied through a single transmission line from Francistown with limited capacity and a distribution line from Maun also with limited capacity was used to supply Gumare, Shakawe and the surrounding villages.

To meet demand in Shakawe, Mr Kgoboko said the corporation had to enter into cross-border power supply arrangements with Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, but that some networks did not have adequate capacity to meet projected demand from planned projects in the area.

To address power supply constraints in that part of the country, he said a bankable feasibility study was undertaken in 2012.

He said BPC gained valuable experience from the NWTGC, noting that the contribution from citizen owned companies was immense. "We have significant capacity in the country to support mega projects such as this one," he said.

Mr Kgoboko noted that the project enhanced local skills and believed that phase two of the project would see an even greater contribution from local companies.

The contractor, Mr Rajan Bansal from Larsen & Toubro Company said he was grateful for the opportunity to have been part of developing such a mega project.

He said the project produced the most optimised economical and standardised tower design of 400kV and 132kV transmission lines.

Source : BOPA

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