Modise Koofhethile, Botswana Oil’s General Manager ÔÇôStrategy has said that due to limited expertise they have contracted consultants to develop the coal to liquid framework for the state owned firm.
Koofhethile appeared before the Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises committee and revealed that the cost of the consultancy came at P21 million spread over a period of six years.
The consultants, according to Koofhethile will help Botswana Oil develop a structured project to see if it’s a viable project.
Botswana Oil – the wholly owned government entity is mandated to ensure security of petroleum supply for Botswana, where it manages state-owned strategic fuel reserve facilities, strategic stocks as well as bulk storage and distribution in the petroleum sector.
The latest update from the state-owned oil company follows last year’s Request for Tender (RFQ) issued to prospective companies to take on a “bankable feasibility study, design, finance, construct, own, operate and maintain a coal to liquids plant in Botswana”. Koofhethile says 50 companies showed interest but only 11 companies submitted their bids.
Botswana – which has over 212 billion tonnes in coal resources – developed the coal roadmap in 2014 in which coal to liquid production was seen as part of coal monetization. Botswana Oil has previously said coal liquefaction project had the potential to create an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 jobs as well as promote exports and the creation of newer industries. The state oil company estimates it will cost about P40 billion to build the plant.
Other than the massive amount of funds required to manage the whole process, Botswana Oil says after being inundated by private companies which wanted to be part of the multi-billion pula project, they have decided to make it a private led project.
“Our job now is to facilitate the entry of the private sector in this project and to find a transparent process to identify the right partner,” Koofhethile said. He added that the evaluation process is ongoing, and they will notify the selected bidders next month.