Botswana kicks off 100 MW solar tender

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State-owned electric utility Botswana Power Corp has issued a request for qualification for the development and construction of two PV plants with a combined capacity of 100 MW.

The utility 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 that procurement was canceled by the utility two years later when Botswana Power Corp said 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.

Botswana Power 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 neighbor plagued by energy shortages due to an operational and financial crisis at national utility Eskom.