Shumba Energy country manager, Mr Comfort Molosiwa, says they intend to turn Palapye into a coal producing centre.
Mr Molosiwa, who was giving a presentation at the ongoing Central District Council (CDC) full council meeting, said they were working at exporting significant tonnage of coal from the area.
He said Shumba would put up a coal wash plant, but they were awaiting approval of surface rights from the Palapye Sub-Land board.
Mr Molosiwa noted that they were developing the Mabesekwa Independent Power Producer (MEIPP) project, located 60 km south west of Tonota, to supply electricity to South Africa under the South African Coal Baseload IPP Programme for Cross-Border Projects.
‘We have also partnered with Kibo Energy PLC to fast track development of a 600-megawatt power station at Mabesekwa,’ he said.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for both the mine and power station were complete, adding that the water allocation and surface rights were also approved.
He said they would also develop a 1.5 million tonnes per annum coal mine at Mabesekwa by 2020, with potential to provide employment for a maximum of 200 people, with business opportunities for outsourcing of non-core business functions.
Mr Molosiwa said Shumba would have developed a 1.2 million tonnes per annum coal mine at the Sechaba, Lechana and Shalakwe area by 2023, to meet coal and power demand.
‘We plan to develop a 2.5 million tonnes per annum coal mine at Morupule South around Segakwane and Masuakoloi in the Palapye area by the end of 2019. We are also planning to develop a 300mw power station at Lechana/Shalakwe area by 2023 and a 600mw power station at Mabesekwa by 2023,’ he said.
Mr Molosiwa indicated that the Shumba Energy owned Sechaba Coal Mining and Power Project as well as Letlhakeng Coal Classification Project.
He, therefore, noted that they were in a partnership with Lucro, a black economic empowerment company. ‘Lucro has been a supplier to Eskom in South Africa and has other international clients, to which it sells coal out of various ports in Southern Africa.
We envisage that we will be in a position to start selling coal six months from now. This will allow us to sufficiently obtain time to obtain a mining licence and finalise the logistics of moving the coal,’ he said.
Mr Molosiwa noted that through Lucro, they would sell a minimum of 100 000 tonnes per month to Eskom, since there was an existing contract.
‘We will be able to take all coal produced by our three mines namely Morupule South, Sechaba and Mabesekwa,’ he said.
Among the challenges, he said, was that water allocation was uncertain due to liquidation of Tati Nickel Mine and delays in the power procurement process by the South African and Botswana governments.
While responding to a question which was posed by Councillor Bakuedi Kuruman, in which he wanted to know, if the company was guaranteed the market for their products, Mr Molosiwa assured the members of the CDC that there was a substantial market to supply their coal and electricity outside Botswana.
He said they were able and willing to take financing, construction and market risks through the coal and electricity which they intended to produce.
He indicated that there was coal and power market in countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique. Shumba Energy is Batswana owned and listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange.
(c) 2018 Botswana Daily News Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers