USTDA FUNDS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
ON A COAL-FIRED
POWER PLANT IN BOTSWANA
Grant is the First of Three Awards to Address
Electricity Needs in Southern Africa
WASHINGTON, D.C. — (August
23, 2005) Making strides in
meeting the growing demand for electricity in Southern Africa as part of the
economic development goals of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
is the goal of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) grant awarded
today to Botswana’s Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR).
The $368,270 grant will fund financial advisory services for the MMEWR on
the development of the Mmamabula Coal-Fired Power Plant in Botswana.
USTDA Director Thelma J.
Askey and Assistant Minister Duncan Mlazie of the Ministry of Finance and
Development Planning of Botswana signed a grant agreement at U.S. offices in
Arlington, Virginia to officially confer the award. USTDA Regional Director
for Sub-Saharan Africa Ned Cabot and Deputy Permanent Secretary Freddie
Mothatlhedi of the MMEWR of Botswana signed as witnesses to the grant
agreement. The Honorable Mbiganyi Tibone, Minister of Minerals, Energy and
Water Resources of Botswana, was present at the grant signing.
During the signing
ceremony, Director Askey noted the importance of new energy development in
the Southern African region and the U.S. commercial interest in finding
economically viable means to meet the growing demand for electricity. She
also welcomed the Minister as the leader of the seven-member delegation
visiting the United States at the invitation of USTDA to explore the U.S.
coal bed methane industry.
Today’s grant is designed to help Botswana consider the development of new
energy generation sources in preparation for the projected spike in regional
demand for power over the next few years. Specifically, the technical
assistance will allow the MMEWR to explore different ways of financing the
greenfield Mmamabula coal-fired power plant, which will be located next to
the Mmamabula Colliery in the Mahalapye region of Botswana. The successful
implementation of this power plant is expected to assist Botswana in
becoming a net energy exporter to the Southern African Power Pool. The
grant will also help to establish the infrastructure necessary to support
the economic development goals of AGOA, which provides beneficiary countries
in sub-Saharan Africa with preferential access to the U.S. market.
The grant is the
first of three totaling more than $1.25 million that USTDA expects to award
in the near future to assist countries in meeting the region’s growing
demand for energy. The other grants will be used to develop a formalized
electricity market model to facilitate private sector investment in
Namibia’s energy market, and to lay the groundwork for a concession on the
development of two hydropower plants on the Lurio River in Mozambique.
The opportunity to provide the financial
advisory assistance to the MMEWR will be competed on the Federal Business
Opportunities website at www.fedbizopps.gov. Interested U.S. firms
should submit proposals directly to the MMEWR for consideration, following
the instructions in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement.
The MMEWR will select the U.S. contractor that will provide the assistance.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency
advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing
and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical
assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business
workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair
and open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance
funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host
countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and
sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives
emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and