Aggreko eyes Botswana as blackouts enter third month

Rupert Soames's Aggreko is eyeing openings in Botswana. Picture: Complimentary

Rupert Soames's Aggreko is eyeing openings in Botswana. Picture: Complimentary

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TEMPORARY power supplier Aggreko is poised to enter Botswana after the Glasgow-based firm held talks with the African nation’s power company.

David Taylor-Smith, regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa operations at Aggreko, told the Mmegi newspaper that the FTSE 100 giant, led by chief executive Rupert Soames, could have 100 mega watts (MW) of power up-and-running within 90 days.

Taylor-Smith said that the company could deploy diesel generators or supply electricity from its Ressano Garcia gas-fired plant in Mozambique or from a new plant burning heavy fuel oil.

Botswana is suffering from its third month of rolling blackouts, with demand expected to increase during the winter months in Africa. Analysts at Espirito Santo noted: “Botswana’s energy shortage is partly a result of delays to construction of a 600MW power station, where three of its four units are under repair or being built.

“Should Aggreko reach agreement with Botswana Power Corporation it would represent a positive development, potentially expanding its cross-border interim power plant based in Mozambique, which already supplies Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa.

“It could potentially also aid Aggreko’s diesel fleet utilisation, currently running at 70 per cent versus its 80 per cent aspiration.

“Any contract confirmation would likely only support existing market forecasts but, given the group’s recent setbacks and current uncertainty, we would expect any newsflow to be positively received.”

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