Botswana offers off-peak electricity to supplement Eskom supply

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Eskom head office at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg.
Eskom head office at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg.
PHOTO: Luba Lesolle, Gallo Images
  • Botswana says electricity generation from its off-peak periods can help South Africa.
  • For the past three months, Botswana Power Company has been meeting local power demands.
  • The government in that country launched the Madou26 strategy to position the country as a regional benchmark in electricity supply by 2026.

After President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an intention to import electricity from neighbouring countries to supplement South Africa's constrained power supply, Botswana wants South Africa to even buy more from it.

Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) wants Eskom to buy its off-peak generated power since electricity can't be stored on any scale and fluctuation can put strain on generators.

"BPC has therefore started engaging Eskom to purchase the excess electricity supply generated during off-peak times (weekends) in order to protect our plants against load management fluctuations and also to ensure that surplus electricity has a secured market," BPC said in a statement.

On Monday night, Ramaphosa said: "Neighbouring countries in southern Africa, such as Botswana and Zambia, have more electricity capacity than they require for their economies. Eskom will now import power from these countries through the southern African power pool arrangement."

Responding to Ramaphosa's measures, BPC said it was "alive to the announcement made by the president of the Republic of South Africa ...that Eskom will import power from Botswana".

Through the Maduo26 strategy, a five-year plan launched last year, Botswana intends to achieve its vision of becoming "a regional benchmark in electricity supply" by 2026.

So far, BPC said, it has been meeting local energy needs during off-peak hours. It is therefore "able to export excess power to the region".


The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
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