Sunday, June 16, 2024

Botala goes big with  green hybrid energy projectrs

Botala Energy, the hybrid energy focused entity, was in a joyful mood on Monday following the Non -Banking Financial Institution Regulatory Authority’s (NBFIRA’s), approval to let it raise money within Botswana.

The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed entity said the move emboldened it to develop its solar panel plant and the development of its Leupane energy hub and industrial park.

“Botala has been progressing business case studies for hybrid gas/ solar plants and photovoltaic (solar panel) project with Solar Finland,” the company said.

“The investment decision is expected around July,” it added.

The NBIRA’s decision will allow local investment houses and pension funds to participate in the ownership.

This comes on the heels of Botswana Mining and Energy conference were Chief Executive of Botswana Minerals Development Company (BMDC), Matome Malema that his organization is prepared to invest in mining and energy on behalf of Botswana.

That will also be supported by the Green Bonds— geared towards environmentally friendly projects — that Botswana Stock Exchange is planning to introduce in the near future. Green Bonds are attracting huge interest from Asia and Europe. Last year, Johannesburg Stock Exchange was able to attract an investment of around R 2 trillion through issuance of Green Bonds.

Leupane is less than six kilometres   away from Palapye- west of the A1 road- where the company owns a 1,520 hectare farm. The farm will be replete with industrial hub, solar manufacturing plant and solar farm.

The idea is to ultimately build a 700MW power station that will be powered by gas and solar power.

Botala it pinning its hopes on a possible deal with southern African Power Pool for an off-take and the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC)- to use their power lines to supply the electricity hungry neighbouring countries.

Botala Energy also announced its logging – from single point drilling- results adding that it is progressing quantifying the amount of gas available.

“We have developed seven wells around the Serowe gas fields so far. We want to develop gas and bring it to the surface so that we can commercially exploit it,” Botala Energy’s executive chairman, Dr. Wolf Martinick told Sunday Standard last month.

Botala Energy is foraging some coal bed methane (CBM) seams to try to get gas. He is emboldened by the results from the seven wells which are within 40- to- 50 kilometers radius of Serowe village. Its assets  are extended some 100 kilometers west of  Serowe village – into the Western Sandveld area.

“We have drilled less than half of our area. The results are very good. In the seven wells that we have drilled, independent consultants estimate the reserves to be 320 billion cubic feet of gas underground.”

“It is not us who are saying that consultants we engaged from Canada said that.

“I think the whole area could probably be up to 8 trillion cubic feet,” he said.

“If that is the case, we are looking at a mine that will take up to 40 years,” Dr. Martinick said.

Botala Energy holds 70 percent in the Serowe CBM project while the results are held by Pure Hydrogen of Australia. Pure Hydrogen is one of the biggest players in the liquified natural gas (LNG), industry in Australia and has 19.9 percent that were converted to 30 percent.

Last month, Pure Hydrogen indicated that it is reviewing its gas reserved in Australia upwards after the first results from Serowe were announced.

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