Struggling Eskom supplying power to Botswana

morupuleOn Thursday and Friday, Eskom declared a power emergency, but is nonetheless diverting electricity to Botswana while South Africa struggles with rolling blackouts and loadshedding.

Botswana is facing a supply crisis after two units at its only major power plant, Morupule, were shut down when the boilers malfunctioned, the Sunday Times reported. The plant’s output was thus halved and Eskom forced  to keep the country running.

Eskom supplied 90% of the shortfall.

“It is a serious problem but fortunately we have our region partners, such as Eskom, with whom we have a good relationship,” Botswana Power Corporation spokesman Spencer Moreri said at the time.

Morupule was designed to generate 600MW of the total peak need of 680MW, but could only deliver 300MW.

Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger told the Sunday Times Eskom expected Botswana to be self-sufficient, but because of technical glitches it supplied the country with a third of Morupule’s previous capacity.

“But that would be reduced to zero in the event South Africa was subjected to rotational load-shedding,” Etzinger was quoted as saying.

“Without supply from Eskom, Botswana would have had almost no electricity available, with significant harm resulting for that economy and for that of the region.”

Eskom also supplies electricity to neighbouring countries Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho.