Shumba Energy’s export power plant ready to roll

Keikantse Lesemela
Thursday, 14 January 2016
Shumba Energy MD, Mashale Phumaphi Shumba Energy MD, Mashale Phumaphi

The Mabesekwa Export Independent Power Plant (MEIPP) is ready for bid submission in the first half of 2016, Shumba Energy has announced.

The MEIPP project is being developed to supply electricity to South Africa under the South African Coal base load IPP programme for cross border projects. In a statement Shumba Energy Managing Director Mashale Phumaphi said they now have two advanced coal independent Power Plant projects able to supply electricity to the South African Coal Based load IPP programme, the domestic Botswana Greenfield Coal Base load IPP programme and to other countries in the region.

“With prefeasibility studies complete at both Sechaba and Mabesekwa we have commenced bankable feasibility studies on each of them,” said Phumaphi. The coal supply, water supply, power transmission, environmental and engineering solutions have been concluded in the second half of 2015 with the added bonus of the attainment of surface rights for both the MEIPP and associated open cast mine.

In August 2015 Shumba energy entered into a joint development agreement with a South African Independent power producer, Mullion Thermal for the joint development of the MEIPP. In a statement the company revealed that the project is shortlisted in the government of Botswana Greenfield coal base load IPP programme, which will be a parallel bid submission. The project will be a mine-mouth power plant using coal from a mining company in Botswana.

The project site lease area, comprising 2800 hectares is located 60 km South-west of Francistown and 40 km west of Tonota. The power plant is to be built between 5km and 6 km from the coalmine mouth. “The project calls for two or four generating units, each with an output of 150 MWe gross with a maximum capacity of 600 MWe gross total depending on grid integration and evacuation constraints,” reads the statement.

The project would deploy a dry cooling system because Botswana is a water scarce country. The project also includes associated infrastructure such as interconnection facilities, transmission line, water supply infrastructure, coal conveyor belt, ash handling systems and distributed control system.

In October last year project developers engaged Trans-Africa projects Proprietary Limited to conduct a grid integration study to investigate the most desired point of interconnection to evacuate energy from the MEIPP power plant into Botswana network. The results of the study indicate that the proposed scope of work is technically implementable since all voltage and thermal limits are adhered to. 

However recommendations from the report state that the MEIPP power plant can be integrated into the BPC network by means of a loop-in-loop-pout connection to the Phokoje-Dukwi 400kv line and the construction of a third line, from the MEIPP power plant to Francistown at 400 kv with a step-down transformer in Francistown to 220 kv.

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