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Southren Africa power consumption spirals

Despite its persistent power shortages, Southern Africa power appetite is expected to grow to uncontrollable proportions into the next decade with annual energy (GWh) growing by 43 % while peak demand rises by 52 % for countries in the region, something that horoscopes a gloomy future in the region that is prone to power crises.

These estimates are according to a fresh study made by power consultancy group Mott MacDonald Group called Southern African Power Market Study which further estimated that generation capacity in Botswana will be challenged in future like it happened in 2016 when it was 300 MW at Morupule B while the average daily demand was 400-500 MW in the same period. Mott MacDonald made the study in conjunction with energy firm Tlou Energy Limited which wants to produce low carbon energy source which will replace the use of coal and diesel in the production of electricity-ending the Botswana Power Corporation power supply monopoly as a result easing the utility’s burden.

According to the Southern African Power Market Study, Botswana is expected to rely more heavily on imports from South Africa’s Eskom in future. After seeing Botswana’s unhealthy demand pattern from now up to the next decade, Mott MacDonald concluded that for Botswana “balance will need to be met by reliable new capacity or imports.” However, the South African power utility like its local counterpart, BPC, has never been known for its infallibility when it comes to power generation and it is said to be growing in vulnerability as demand in the region grows.  

A graphically illustrated study by Mott MacDonald shows that currently the demand of electricity for an hour ranges from 500MW to 600MW. It further shows that after 7400 hours power will go to nil. For Morupule B, Mott MacDonald generation is expected tom be lower for the current demand. For an hour generation will go up to 500 MW while after 7400 hours generation will go to nil. According to Mott MacDonald load forecasts, in 2040 an hour will need 1200 MW and after 8323 hours electricity will go off.

When looking at the Botswana supply options Mott MacDonald says, “Botswana will need to add up to 500MW of committed, dispatchable electricity generating capacity by 2040, in order to keep pace with demand. If projects slip in schedule, imports will be increasingly be relied upon.” According to a Mott MacDonald power forecast, by 2030 there will be a need of P800 billion in new generation capacity that will help this region to keep pace with growing demand. Botswana will need P180 billion by 2030.

Mott MacDonald has casted doubts on the region’s ability to raise P800 billion for new capacity generation. According to the firm, in the past the region has always been synonymous with failure to roll out power projects on time. Many are currently stalled and may not proceed, said Mott MacDonald. A planned P8 billion expansion of Morupule B units V and VI which was dedicated to be the first ever independent power producer (IPP) is failing to take off and sources close to developments believe the initiative has been halted.

Japanese firm Marubeni Corp and South Korea’s Posco Energy had won the contract as the IPP partners and each build 150MW thus collectively adding 300MW to the current 600 MW Morupule B power plant, but the initiative has been put on hold as government and the two companies failed to agree on terms. According to Mott MacDonald’s analysis Botswana and its regional counterparts have low electricity tariffs that will make BPC difficult to sustain financially. The firm advised that BPC need to increase its tariff to 80 % so that it can recover costs.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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