A rural electrification programme has been one of the ways in which Botswana promotes rural development in areas where other complementary resources enhance the development potential of electrification. This scheme continues to play a major role in cultivating potential consumer interest and increasing connections. An increasing number of rural consumers have benefited from these power connections, with 11 more villages expected to be connected to the national grid during 1994/5.
Morupule Power Station which provides about 80 percent of Botswana's power requirements.
Inset : Power lines at sunset.
The Botswana Power corporation (BPC), a parastatal utility formed in 1970, has the responsibility of providing electric power throughout the country. Consistent with its policy of increasing the consumer base and the government's goal of enhancing rural development, the corporation has undertaken major projects and programmes both on the national and international fronts.
In line with the government's initiative to make commerce, industry
and services the engines of economic growth, the Botswana Power
Corporation has intensified its drive to connect major villages.
With the availability of electricity an added incentive, it is
hoped that this would encourage the establishment of small scale
industries ranging from machine-driven carpentry enterprises and
local fabric manufacturing to agro-based factories such as milling
and irrigation in rural areas. Marketing programmes are geared
towards the development and efficient utilisation of electricity
through appropriate choice of appliances.
A transformer station and pylons in Gaborone West. ->
CONSUMER BASE INCREASE
The corporation's grid network to Maun is being extended through the construction of a 330-kilometre 132-kilovolt transmission line, while another extension was a 50-kilometre 132-kilovolt transmission line to reinforce supplies to Molepolole. Other major reinforcements have been carried out in urban centres to meet the needs of the Accelerated Land Servicing programmes. a 220-kilovolt switching station at Serule improve the security of supplies in the northern region and affords operational flexibility on the BPC grid network. Two additional 132-kilovolt transmission lines, in an upgrading of the BPC/Eskom interconnection, has a combined capacity of a50 megawatts and further enhances the existing power sharing arrangements in the southern African region. The corporation attaches a great deal of importance to the protection of the environment, with consultations and environmental impact assessments undertaken for all major transmission works constructed. Such studies are used to determine the most suitable line routes and facilitate close monitoring of the effects of open wire distribution lines on flying birds and their migration routes
A 15-year planning programme is being developed to cater for the
supply of electricity across the Botswana grid. Major projects
undertaken or initiated support the corporation's drive to secure
the optimum performance of the system and to make this electricity
available to an increasing number of consumers.
ELECTRICITY : Botswana Power Corporation