Botswana is getting multiple players in the electricity generation sector after the regulator issued licences to three independent power producers, a move aimed at enhancing the country’s local domestic power generation.
Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) on Wednesday awarded the licences to Energy and Natural Resource Corporation, Sese Power and Tlou Energy. Energy and Natural Resource Corporation intends to build a 600 megawatts (MW) coal-fired power station, while Sese is undertaking a 225 MW coal-fired power station and Tlou Energy is to construct a 2 MW coal bed methane (CBM) fuelled power station.
The three independent power producers are expected to sell part of the electricity generated to the state-owned Botswana Power Corporation, which has had the monopoly of electricity generation and distribution nationwide. BPC’s defective 600 MW Morupule B coal station and the 132 Morupule A power station have failed to generate enough electricity to meet local demand, with BPC importing almost half of power from outside.
“Tlou Energy has received the Electricity Generation License formal certificate and accompanying conditions from Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA). The licence has a term of 15 years, is for the generation of 2 MW of CBM gas and solar power generation at the Lesedi project for sale to Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) at the approved BPC tariff, as well as a series of standard conditions,” the company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and the Botswana Stock Exchange’s main foreign counter said this week.
Tlou has already begun a fundraising exercise, offering about 75 million new offer shares at 0.32 thebe to raise P24 million. The money raised will be used to fund engineering and design of a proposed 66kV transmission line, due diligence costs related to development funding, field operations and for working capital.
The company – focused on delivering gas-to-power- solutions in Botswana by tapping on coal bed methane natural gas – wholly owns the most advanced gas project in the country, Lesedi CBM project, which it promotes as a solution to the region’s chronic power shortages.
Tlou’s managing director, Tony Gilby, has revealed that they are in advanced discussions with development funding institutions interested in providing debt or equity capital to fund the next stage of the Lesedi project. This work includes but is not limited to, drilling of additional wells, installation of generation assets, purchase of capital equipment, and installation of associated infrastructure to develop up to 10MW of power.
Gilby added that they are locked in advanced negotiations with Botswana Development Corporation, the investment arm of the Botswana government. BDC is currently pouring over the term sheet, which is progressing through the BDC’s internal corporate processes.
“Once the term sheet is signed, due diligence covering commercial, technical, legal, reputational, environmental, social and governance can be completed. The costs of this will be borne by Tlou. The Company has been advised that the due diligence process is expected to take 8 to 12 weeks from the execution of the term sheet,” Gilby said.
Tlou’s top main shareholders are Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF), which has a 10.5 stake in the company, and Anthony Gilby Group which holds 4.8 percent.