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Botswana Power Corporation partners Norwegian firm, Scatec, to build solar plant

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Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has announced that it has awarded Norwegian company Scatec ASA a contract to build a 50 MW solar plant.

According to the agreement, Scatec will finance, build, own and operate the solar plant and recoup its investment by selling electricity to BPC over 25 years.

BPC CEO David Kgoboko said procurement of another large-scale solar plant was underway, “The plant is our first and largest utility-scale grid-connected solar PV plant and we expect the project to be operational by June 2024.”

According to a statement by Scatec, though Botswana possesses 66% of Africa’s coal resources, the nation’s ambitions to drive a renewable energy transformation are clear to see. Neighboring country, South Africa, has displayed that the transition to renewables can be cost-effective and sustainable – whilst aligning with global carbon emission reduction goals.

“We are proud to have reached this milestone with the BPC – demonstrating our ability to support and deliver clean energy and infrastructure to Sub-Saharan Africa. It is also a significant achievement for the people of Botswana,” says General Manager of Sub-Saharan Africa, Jan Fourie.

Botswana’s energy capacity is thermal, produced mostly in coal-fired plants with a few small diesel generators in rural areas. The 132 MW Morupule coal-fired station generates most of the domestic electricity supply. More than 50 per cent of Botswana’s power requirements are imported from South Africa and Zambia.

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Petrol prices fall in South Africa, Libya but cost of diesel keeps flying

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Prices of petrol have fallen in South Africa and Libya but such cannot be said of diesel.

The government of government on Monday announced that the petrol pump price would decrease by up to 1.02 Rand a litre but the price of diesel would increase by up to 15 cents a litre from October 5.

In Sudan also, petrol prices seem to be obeying the law of gravity as the energy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that price had fallen from 700 Sudanese pounds to 522 pounds ($0.9235) per litre.

There has been a fall in global oil prices recently which has caused a fall in domestic inflation to 7.6% in August in South Africa.

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has had its knock-on effects on oil prices globally. Prices of diesel have almost tripled in most African countries.

In Nigeria for instance, industries like aviationtelecom operators have all struggled with the situation which has disrupted business operations.

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Zambia sets for first meeting with creditors amidst growing fiscal challenges

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The finance ministry in Zambia said it is set for its first meeting with its creditors as the South African country struggles to escape its current financial mess.

The finance minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane made the revelation on Monday at a public meeting to discuss the country’s annual budget.

Musokotwane said at a budget speech last week Zambia’s external public debt reached $14.87 billion at the end of June 2022.

“Have we started negotiations with creditors? Not yet but right now we have preparations for the first meeting,” Musokotwane said in response to a question.

Zambia’s creditors are mainly Chinese lenders and bondholders.

The Southern African country that opted to bow out of a $42.5 million Eurobond repayment in 2020,  is seeking $8.4 billion of debt relief from 2022 to 2025.

Zambia is one of the African countries currently facing economic woes. The country has been in negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for aid amidst the crisis.

The country was struggling with a debt burden of almost $32 billion, around 120% of its gross domestic product.

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