Transmission Line to Connect South Africa’s Lesedi Power Plant to Botswana

Tlou Energy Ltd has announced the start of construction for this project.

By Chriselle Moraes on
1st July 2022

Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) will fund a transmission line that will connect the Botswana power grid to South Africa’s Lesedi Power Plant for approximately US$5 million.

The 100-kilometre, 66-kilovolt (kV) line, able to carry at least 25 megawatts of power and supporting substations, will be required to connect Lesedi Power Plant, Tlou energy's gas field and the proposed generation site to the grid.

Work on the line is to be completed by mid-2023, with electricity sale in the second half of 2023. 

Tlou Energy is the owner and developer of the Lesedi 10-megawatt gas fired power facility, located in the Sedibeng District of Gauteng province, South Africa.

“We are firmly on track to becoming a regional power producer in a market with a huge power demand and at a time where worldwide demand for gas and cleaner energy is growing significantly," said Tlou's managing director Tony Gilby. 

Lesedi is 100 kilometres from the electricity grid in Botswana. The first development stage for the transmission line project will involve the erection of wooden poles fitted with an overhead 66-kilovolt transmission line, which will supply 25 megawatts of power to the grid. The line will begin at Lesedi and run across flat, arid terrain. The final approximately five kilometres will run along the outskirts of the Serowe township, where the grid connection will occur.

Zismo Engineering, appointed to build the transmission line has completed the preliminary work on the project. This includes site handover, assembly of project teams and resources, plant and equipment mobilization, line survey and design, pole structure modelling, and review and approval by Mott MacDonald, Tlou’s Owners Engineer. 

They have also begun equipment procurement, including the manufacturing of steel and wooden poles, cross-arms, line hardware, fittings, stay wire and assemblies. The project site office is at Mogorosi village, and a roving site camp is planned along the transmission line route. 

Bush clearing is underway on site, followed by installation of farm gates where required, line pegging, inspection, and approval. Pole erection in sections will start with the Serowe end of the line and move towards Lesedi. 

Work will begin on the first section at the end of June 2022, with section two starting in September 2022. The line will use 650 wooden poles and 80 steel structures. It will involve excavation, positioning, assembly, dressing, planting, backfilling, and compacting, followed by stringing, tensioning and regulation. Testing, commissioning and line energization will be undertaken at the end of the process.

Work on the transmission line is expected to be completed by mid-2023, with substations ready in the second half of 2023. Initial electricity generated will be sold to Botswana Power Corporation under a 10-megawatt power purchase agreement (PPA). The first revenue from this PPA is expected by late 2023.

Top Photo: Tlou Energy’s ongoing projects (@TlouEnergy Twitter Handle | Tlou Energy)

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