Gaborone — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi says key power generation and transmission initiatives were undertaken to ensure realisation of energy security as it is a national priority.
Delivering the State-of -the -Nation Address on November 9 , President Masisi said a noteworthy initiative was the North – West Transmission Grid Connection project (NWTGC) that sought to connect the North – West and Ghanzi districts.
“The project is at 92 per cent completion and it is scheduled for commissioning by December 2020,” he said. Upon completion, Dr Masisi said, the project would significantly reduce power import bill from cross-border supply and provide reliable grid to mining operations in the region.
In order to drive the strategic objective of achieving reliable, safe and affordable electricity supply, Dr Masisi said government had developed an Integrated Resource Plan for the electric sector development.
He said the plan intended to achieve an energy generation mix of at least 15 per cent renewable energy by 2030 from the current two per cent. He said government was engaged in major power infrastructure development projects which included electrification of rural villages, network extension and reinforcement, as well as the refurbishment of the transmission and distribution network.
President Masisi said through the Rural Village Electrification Programme, rural electrification had covered 435 out of the 492 gazetted villages in the country.
“The current national access to electricity stands at 64 per cent,” said Dr Masisi.
President Masisi said the Rural Electrification Programme was implemented fully by citizen consultants and contractors in accordance with government’s Citizen Economic Empowerment (CEE) and Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) policies.
He said Botswana Power Corporation(BPC) has incubated over 60 citizen owned companies for the construction and maintenance of the power distribution infrastructure.
The President said over P2 billion was spent on rural electrification programme and the North West power transmission project.
In relation to supply of petroleum products, he said the recent fuel shortages had highlighted Botswana’s over dependence on fuel imports on a single source of supply.
As such, he said government had identified alternative sources of supply which would significantly increase the security of fuel supply to the country.
In addition, government is exploring other options to improve fuel supply by developing a Coal to Liquids (CTL) project.
He said the project was at feasibility stage and was expected to complete during the course of 2021.
To further ensure national security of fuel supply, President Masisi said additional strategic fuel storage facilities were being developed through Botswana Oil Limited (BOL) in Ghanzi, Francistown and Tshele Hill in the Kgatleng District.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>