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Home » News » Business » 8000 jobs for BPC billions project

8000 jobs for BPC billions project

Publishing Date : 20 November, 2017

Author : REARABILWE RAMAPHANE

Power utility, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) last Friday announced a watershed project that will completely reshape the local electricity and power supply situation.


The North West Transmission Grid (NWTG) is among government’s biggest infrastructure projects, valued at P4.6 billion and aims to extend the transmission grid to the North West, Chobe and Gantsi Districts. When deliberating on the project at the contract signing ceremony at the Gaborone International Convention Centre(GICC) last Friday, Botswana Power Corporation Chief Executive Officer Dr Stefan Schwarzfischers said the NWTG was an investment totaling to P4.6 Billion by the Government of Botswana implemented by his corporation.


Schwarzfischer said the project was one of the biggest infrastructure developments by Government amongst others like the Mohembo and Kazungula bridges. The Transmission Grid will be implemented in two phases and it is expected to create over 2000 jobs during the construction stage with about 81% of the engaged labour being local citizens, and around 8000 permanent jobs in various sectors of the economy once the project has been completed. “We also anticipate existing business from logistics, hospitality and SMEs grown and some to be birthed in the North Western region of this country,” he said.


The CEO explained that the transmission line will provide grid access to all factors of the economy being mining, tourism, commercial farming and further improve the quality of electricity supply in the country and most importantly in the north western district. “This will position the region which is a transport hub, gateway to the coast as well as rich in tourism, farming and, as lucrative investment hub for different economic value chains,” said Schwarzfischer.


He added that the project will give BPC an opportunity to reduce dependence on power import from Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia as they will have the infrastructure to meet local power demand and also play an economic role of exporting power from Botswana to the SADC region through the Southern Africa power pool market.


“This signing of contracts for the construction and commission of phase 1 of the project between BPC and 3 international contractors phase is valued at 1.3 billion pula and the phase 2 is allocated another 1.2 billion,” explained Schwarzfischer.
He noted that the three contractors were all international companies because locally Botswana was limited in terms of suppliers with skills and expertise in high voltage material and infrastructure development.


”The companies has been solely evaluated according to BPC and PPADB procurement standards  and we are satisfied that they will deliver on the expectation of the project given the wealth of skills, technical competencies and tangible evidence of their previous work,” he said .


According to the BPC Phase 1 of the project has been divided into nine stages and each one of the three contractors will undertake three stages. The decision, according to the power corporation was a cautious one made to balance capacity and ensure efficient implementation of the project.


“I am therefore confident to declare to you that the phase 1 will commence from January 2018 and run through to December 2019,”  the BPC said further  highlighting that the phase will start from Palapye Morupule to Maun then from Maun to Shakawe and connect to Ghanzi. “We will establish a 400 000 waltz back bone transmission, high voltage line.”


Phase 2 of the North West Transmission Grid  will be implement from  August 2018  and is expected to be completed by  October 2020. BPC said it is urgently evaluating the tenders for this phase and should conclude the process by January 2018 and the signing ceremony with successful bidder will be also held publicly.


This second phase will extend the 400kb bridge, starting from Selibe Phikwe to Kasane. The chief Executive Officer of the national power supplier said BPC will increase its human resource capacity including training of stuff over the next 2 years to cater for operations and maintenance to ensure reliable power supply when the grid is fully operational. “We are also here to sign a memorandum of agreement with the Ministry of Minerals and Khoemacau copper mining as we will provide 30 megawatts to the mine and the mine will create employment to 900 people,” concluded the BPC Boss

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