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Govít to import 900MW solar power from Israel

Minister of Energy, Minerals and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila

Botswana that used to be a mesh importer of electricity from neighboring South Africa is confident of turning into a regional powerhouse and net exporter of electricity in the next two and half years.

Botswana was not spared from the power challenges which have been engulfing many countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and the rest of Africa.

It is against this background that the government is leaving no stone unturned in its spirited bid to become the net exporter of electricity by 2018, Minister of Energy, Minerals and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila has said.

Mokaila made the declaration at a base metals beneficiation forum held in Francistown recently when addressing executives drawn from mining houses responsible for the extraction of base metals such as nickel and copper.

“I am 100percent sure that we will by 2018 be the main exporter of power,” Mokaila assured the mining executives.

Currently, the country through its sole power utility in Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) produces about 470MW at its coal-fired Morupule B Power Plant which is situated at Palapye in the central part of Botswana.

Botswana’s national power demand currently stands at an average of 550MW during summer periods. During winter season, Botswana requires electricity supply of between 610MW and 620MW, according to the minister.

“At the moment, we are importing just between 80MW and 150MW from the neighboring South Africa’s Eskom,” said the minister in a separate interview with WeekendPost on the sidelines of the base metals beneficiation forum.  

Besides power being produced from its coal-fired plant, Botswana is expecting to produce at additional 2000MW in phases between now and 2018, said Mokaila, adding that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

At the beginning of the year until this past winter, Botswana has been experiencing power challenges and experienced some prolonged load shedding.

Mokaila said Botswana is finalizing the awarding of a tender to the preferred bidder to construct two more units at Morupule B plant to generate at least 300MW. Generation of the envisaged 300MW is expected to connect to the national grid towards the end of 2016, he said.   

“We are also going to tap into renewable energy in order to position ourselves as a net exporter of electricity,” said Mokaila. He said Botswana will generate electricity from gas and solar.

Elaborating further on the renewable energy generation, BPC spokesperson Spencer Moreri said the government is not expected to spend much money because there are a number of organizations which have shown interest in partnering with the administration.

Moreri said a total of 118 prospective companies have applied to be considered as partners in the generation of power through renewable sources. Moreri could not discuss the amount of power expected to be generated through solar and gas.

He said the government is also working on a government-to-government agreement between Botswana and Israel. The two countries are expected to work hand in glove towards the production of close to an additional 900MW of electricity through solar system.

Weighing in, the Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) chief executive officer Charles Siwawa said Botswana has got a lot of potential to produce a lot of electricity from gas and solar.

Siwawa welcomed the development saying it will go a long way in ensuring that Botswana has got enough power supply to run its mining houses scattered across the breath and length of this landlocked nation.

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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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