Botswana seeks to build solar plants for mines

GABORONE – Botswana’s government launched a bidding process on Tuesday to construct solar power plants near its huge Jwaneng diamond mine and for the nation’s northwest, where copper assets are being developed.

“This invitation … is a request for expression of interest to construct, operate, maintain and decommission at the end of its economic life, a scalable solar power plant,” the government said in a notice in the State-owned Daily News.

The notice did not specify the capacity wanted but the minerals and energy ministry has previously stated the government wanted to place 100 MW solar power tenders which would be equally split between Jwaneng and the north-west mines.

Studies have identified Jwaneng as the most suitable place for a solar power plant in the country because of its abundant sunshine.

The Jwaneng diamond mine is operated by Debswana, a joint venture between Anglo American unit De Beers and the Botswana government.

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