Botswana Oil Limited (BOL) announced last week that it made a profit before tax of P9.8 million in its second year of operation. BOL Chief Executive Officer Willie Mokgatlhe said Thursday that the low fuel prices in the global markets have been helpful.
Mokgatle, who was giving a presentation to the media on operations of the state-owned Oil Company also attributed the increase in revenue to the sale of cleaner fuels to international oil companies. The rise in profit has also been linked to finance interest income that Botswana Oil made from investment in the money markets and call accounts.
The company, established with a P12 million loan facility from government aspires to become one of the biggest companies in the region over the next 5-10 years. Mokgatlhe revealed that the company plans to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) to generate funds that will finance its expansion and infrastructure development projects. The listing is also expected to increase citizen participation in the petroleum industry and facilitate economic diversification.
Meanwhile the company further announced plans to construct another fuel storage facility in Francistown to expand the country’s strategic fuel reserves. The Francistown expansion project will increase the capacity of strategic fuel storage reserves by 30 million litres to bring the depot capacity up to 65 million litres.
BOL has previously allocated P150 million for construction of a 150 million liters oil storage facility at Tshele Hills in Kgatleng District, which is expected to be operational in 2017/8. The current fuel storage facilities, located in Gaborone and Francistown have a limited capacity of 20 and 35 million litres respectively that cannot guarantee security of fuel supplies in the country, considering the ballooning oil needs. They also fall short of the targeted 60 day strategic reserve.
“With our Francistown expansion, there will be an upgrading of the existing fire-fighting installations, road and rail loading and off-loading gantries; and also upgrading of existing bulk storage tanks secondary containment to meet current environmental requirements,” said Mokgatlhe.
The announcements comes shortly after the government has proposed new legislation that will facilitate an efficient manufacturing, wholesale and retail petroleum industry.