Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Botswana Oil seeks exclusive rights to import petroleum products

The energy sector regulator, Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) has confirmed that the state owned Oil Company ÔÇô Botswana Oil Limited has made an application to be awarded an exclusive license that will see it importing 50 percent of the national petroleum requirements.

The recently enacted BERA Act allows for an entity to be issued with an exclusive license in the event that the Authority deems fit. In order to issue such a license, BERA has to conduct public hearing sessions to allow the public to express their view.

BERA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rose Seretse confirmed scheduled public hearing, which she said it will inform the way forward, adding that generally the feedback from the hearing will be considered by the BERA Board.

“Consultations have been done with all the relevant stakeholders to ensure stakeholder buy-in regarding the mandate of BERA and how such entities can contribute to achieving the broader mandate of the Authority,” said Seretse.

She further said that BERA expects the public to contribute to the decision to award or otherwise BOL the exclusive license.

In preparation for the changes in its role, BOL is said to be looking at a partnership with a Middle East company – Oman Trading International for the procurement of petroleum and petroleum products.

BOL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Willie Mokgatlhe says the move is a strategic one meant to ensure consistent fuel supply in the country.

Currently BOL imports 10 percent of petroleum product of the market and also have access to government storage facilities of close to 60 million litres for commercial sales which also serves to sweeten the strategic stock. Mokgatlhe stated that when BOL procures, they will deliver product for multinationals directly at their current 18.8 litres depots as they would not be importing for themselves.

Mokgatlhe admit that it is risky for one entity to be given 100 percent mandate for fuel supply.

“Our fuel importation implementation of the product should be done overtime and we want to import 50 percent of the fuel volumes while the other 50 percent should be left to citizens companies,” said Mokgatlhe.   

“We want Batswana to also participate in the value chain and the idea is not for BOL to play in the retail or commercial space,” said Mokgatlhe.

In a bid to build human capacity that can handle the upcoming task, BOL is said to have attached some of its employees at other international Oil companies.

Mokgatlhe confirmed the development further stating that the company has engaged supply and trading consultant to hold hand the team. A local firm, PWC Consultancy is said to have identified the operational gaps in terms of capacity, supply source as well logistics and policies at BOL.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper