New water, energy regulatory agency to be established in Botswana

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• Mott MacDonald and Merz and McLellan Botswana lead consortium for development of Independent Regulatory Authority

GABORONE, Botswana, May 17, 2010 -- Mott MacDonald and Merz and McLellan Botswana, now part of the Mott MacDonald Group, have been appointed by the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources in Botswana as lead consultant on a consortium (also comprising Cameron McKenna and Collins Newman & Co) that will help establish a new energy and water regulatory agency in Gaborone, Botswana, southern Africa.

The Government is reforming and restructuring its energy, water and sanitation sectors and hopes to attract private capital in infrastructure investments, which requires an independent regulatory authority to leverage private sector support.

Mott MacDonald and Merz and McLellan's team of professionals will work closely with colleagues on the consortium to develop a regulatory framework and legislation to cover all operational, organisational and governance procedures for the newly established authority. The team will also assist the client to recruit new core staff and provide training to help build their knowledge and enhance capacity of the new authority. An important role of the new independent regulatory authority will be to establish cost reflective tariffs in the electricity and water sectors.

Due for completion towards late 2010, Mott MacDonald's project director, Dr Guy Doyle said, "This is an exciting project for Mott MacDonald and our new colleagues from Merz and McLellan Botswana as it will be our first joint project in Botswana since the acquisition in early 2010 and will bring together both companies' engineering expertise and Mott MacDonald's world leading power economists and strategists."

He added, "In addition, an interesting development is that the regulatory framework will promote investments in renewables. The aim is to encourage best practice in sustainability through an emphasis on efficiencies and appropriate cost cutting, with reduction of power losses and with cost-reflective tariffs promoting greener energy-use. Through this method it is hoped that it will create greater demand side management, encouraging customers to use less energy and promoting greater take-up of renewables.

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