Botswana Power Corp is seeking independent power producers to build two 50 MW solar parks. The projects are intended to reduce the nation’s dependence on power imports from troubled South African utility Eskom.
State-owned electricity utility Botswana Power Corp – BPC has issued a request for qualification for the development and construction of two PV plants with a combined capacity of 100 MW. BPC intends to select independent power producers for two 50 MW solar parks from which it will buy power under a long-term power purchase agreement. No further technical or financial information was revealed in the tender document. Interested developers have until September 11 to pre-qualify for the exercise.
The projects were initially tendered in May 2017 but BPC cancelled that procurement two years later, announcing it wanted new terms of reference in line with the desired project structure. The main reason for the change was project ownership, which in the nullified tender had been conceived as a joint venture with private investors. In the new exercise, investors must become 100% owners of the two plants.
The power company received 166 bids from local and international developers in the original tender, according to news service Reuters. BPC also launched a tender for 12 solar projects in November. All the facilities are planned to help Botswana reduce its dependence on electricity imports from South Africa, with its neighbour plagued by energy shortages due to an operational and financial crisis at national utility Eskom.