APR Energy has entered into an agreement with the country’s national power utility, to provide 35 MW of new power generation for a two-year term. As electricity problems persist, the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is pushing for short term deals to address the immediate challenges.
The country is currently experiencing serious power shortages as the Morupule B Power Plant is failing to operate at full capacity and meet the demand. The Station has proved to be defective and fixing it will take two to three years.
According to the agreement, APR will install and operate the fast-track, turnkey power plant adjacent to BPC's existing 70MW generating facility outside of Francistown, Botswana's second-largest city.
The energy company expects to commission the plant in the third quarter of 2015. The power plant will feature diesel power modules that have been redeployed from APR Energy's former project in Libya.
The contract builds on a relationship that began in 2009 when APR Energy first developed a 70MW solution for the utility to supplement electricity being imported from neighboring countries. At the time it was installed, APR Energy's Francistown project was the largest temporary power station of its kind to be implemented within the Southern African Power Pool.
APR Energy sold the power plant facility to BPC in 2014 to ensure reliable power generation into the future. The 35MW project adds generation capacity to improve BPC's ability to provide reliable power to domestic industrial customers.
“We are honored to have been selected again by BPC, as it is a reflection of our commitment to operational excellence and BPC's satisfaction with the services we have provided during our years working together," said APR Energy Chief Executive Officer, Laurence Anderson.
Anderson said he is pleased that the project will redeploy fleet from their Libya project, allowing them to put those assets back to work.
He said there continues to be power shortages in Southern Africa as a result of rising demand for electricity within the Southern African Power Pool. “With our operating presence in Angola with two power plants and our extensive experience in Botswana and elsewhere on the continent, we are well-positioned to take advantage of additional opportunities that may arise in the region,” said Anderson.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.