Imported electricity increased by 46.7%
For the first quarter of 2018, electricity generated in Botswana declined as compared to the previous quarter resulting from the challenges at Morupule B, Statistics Botswana has revealed in its electricity generation and distribution report for the 2018 Q1.
The Year-on-year comparison of generated electricity shows a decrease of 2.3 percent (16,071 MWH), from 698,451 MWH during the first quarter of 2017 to 682,380 MWH during the current quarter. Considering the quarter-on-quarter perspective, the physical volume of generated electricity during the first quarter of 2018 shows a decrease of 9.4 percent (70,497 MWH) compared to the generation of 752,877 MWH during the fourth quarter of 2017.
According to Statistics Botswana, an institution led by Statistician General Dr. Burton Mguni, the decreases were mainly on account of operational challenges realized at the Morupule B Power Station. The national accounts office announced that although experiencing operational challenges during the first quarter of 2018, Morupule B Power Station accounted for 98.1 percent of electricity generated locally, followed by Morupule A at 1.4 percent and Matshelagabedi Emergency Power Plant at 0.5 percent. The Orapa Emergency Power plant was not in operation during the period under review. The plant is owned by diamond mining company, Debswana, but it is however connected to the national grid.
During the first quarter of 2018, the physical volume of imported electricity increased by 46.7 percent (88,218 MWH), from 189,052 MWH during the first quarter of 2017 to 277,270 MWH during the first quarter of 2018. Statistics Botswana said this increase is attributable to the need to supplement local production to meet domestic needs during the period under review.
“Compared to the previous quarter, imported electricity during the first quarter of 2018 shows an increase of 29.5 percent (63,135 MWH), from 214,135 MWH during the fourth quarter of 2017 to 277, 270 MWH during the period under review.”
Further, the report shows that even though there are fluctuations in the physical volume of electricity imported, in general importation was steadily decreasing . However, whenever there are operational challenges leading to reduction in production, importation is increased to supplement local production so that distribution is not adversely affected. This is evident in increased importation during the last quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, according to Statistics Botswana.
From 2013 q1 to 2018 q1, Dr. Mguni’s institution shows that Botswana imported 28.9 percent (277,270 MWH) of total electricity distributed during the period under review. Southern African Power Pool, Eskom and Namibia Power Corporation are the main sources of imported electricity at 85.2, 12.4 and 2.5 percent respectively.