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African power surge for ESB as Chinese quit

ESB International is powering Africa and is in talks to run Botswana's electricity network.

The energy company is currently in talks with the state-owned Botswana Power Corporation, a spokesman for ESBI confirmed to the Herald.

"ESB International have met representatives from Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) on a number of occasions and discussions are on-going," said the spokesman.


A source told the Herald that members from Botswana's government and BPC contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs here with the view to having ESBI take care of the country's energy requirements.

"Chinese contractors had been involved but it did not work out so representatives from BPC and Botswana's government came here in January to see if ESBI could help," said the source.

"They contacted us initially out of the blue, it is good news for ESBI - it would be a big deal," he added.

ESBI is involved with projects in approximately 17 African countries and opened an official office if the South African city of Johannesburg last November.

The spokesman from ESBI said that the international energy company set up shop in South Africa because of business demands.

The new office was opened "in response to growing business in the region," he stated.

The then Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello attended the opening of the office.

"The office will act as a hub for ESB International's operations in all of Southern and Sub-Saharan Africa," added the ESBI spokesman.

The energy firm has projects either completed or underway in African countries like Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana.

ESBI has been operating in the region since the late 1990s.

Other countries that ESBI has been involved in include Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.

In terms of a big deal transpiring between Botswana and ESBI the spokesman said that "while discussions are on-going no decision has been made."


It had been reported in April that ESBI had been officially appointed to run Botswana's electricity network but the spokesman said that this is not yet the case and that talks are still ongoing.

The international energy company has been operating in Ireland for approximately 35 years.

During that time it has completed projects in 115 countries.

It states that it has active operations in 20 countries.