GABORONE, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Botswanan government has put out a tender notice inviting international companies to bid for the development of a Greenfield 300 MW coal-fired power station in the southern African country.
The Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources on Thursday said the government prefers the project that could deliver power into the national grid as early as 2016 and no later than 2019.
With the deadline for submissions slated for November, the government expects to determine its IPP procurement process from January 2014.
Australian miner African Energy is one of the companies eyeing the deal with its proposed 300 MW project to be located at the company's Sese coal project, 50 km to the south of Francistown, Botswana's second biggest city in the northeast.
This year, Botswana was hit by perennial power cuts after its new 600 MW power station that was anticipated to close the gap of power deficit had operation challenges.
The country's 600 MW power station at Morupule B was scheduled for the end of 2012, but was delayed, leading to a deficit on the country's national grid.
Botswana has been a large power importer since independence in 1966, importing every year about 80 percent of electricity from neighboring countries especially South Africa. Surging domestic power forced South Africa to cut power exports.
With estimated 212 billion tonnes of coal reserves, Botswana aspires to be self sufficient in power supply and later be a power exporter in the region.
The current power plant tender is part of Botswana's intensified procurement of the next generation capacity, which is scheduled to come on line by 2016 to 2019 to ensure supply security in the medium-term.
In July Botswana issued a request for pre-qualification for a 300 MW Brownfield independent power project (IPP) to be built at the country's oldest power complex, Morupule A station.
The brownfield is expected to be operational by 2016 or 2017 while the greenfield is targeted for 2019 or 2020.