The Botswana Coal & Energy Conference of which the dates are yet to be announced forms part of an international coal campaign which features coal conferences. Dianna Lauzi, the Conference Director stated that “Topics to be covered in the 2015 event include, the coal market overview, utilising Botswana’s coal reserves and unlocking the Southern African coal potential power generation in Southern Africa, transport, infrastructure and logistical issues, underground coal gasification and coal bed methane and more,” she explained.
Delegates who are expected to attend the highly esteemed gathering will include the likes of Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila, Morupule Coal Mine, Anglo American, Bateman and other market players.
Botswana represents Africa’s exciting new coal and energy province, and has generated considerable buzz within the African and international coal, energy and investment industries.
Botswana represents 66% of Africa’s known coal resources – over 210 billion tonnes (some suggest this will rise to over 320 billion tonnes), making it Africa’s second largest coal resource. However, it has since been discovered that Botswana abundance of rich coal deposits have come more as a curse than a blessing in disguise.
It seems that the future that lies ahead for coal deposit exploitation looks bleak. This is due to the fact that international financiers such as the World Bank International Monetary Fund (IMF) including the African Development Bank (are slowly but surely turning away from financing coal related project as coal is being seen as a threat to the environment because of its carbon emissions). Already environmentalists are working hard day and night to ensure that Botswana’s rich coal deposits remain unutilised.
This was mentioned at an economic diversification stakeholders workshop recently hosted by Botswana Institute for Development Analysis (BIDPA) in conjunction with Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM). The duo jointly released a post Diamond study stakeholders’ report. The document released includes a series of well researched presentations, by well-established and leading economists such as the likes of Professor Roman Grynberg and Dr Keith Jefferies, just to mention only but a few. It states that, “Coal plants are the nation’s top source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the primary cause of global warming.” It further mentioned that in 2013, the worldwide union of concerned scientists released a report which duly predicted that by the year 2015 utility coal plants at the Morupule A and B power stations, which are fuelled by coal, will have emitted a total of over 1.7 billion tons of CO2”.
A typical coal plant generates 3.5 million tons of CO2 per year. Burning coal is also a leading cause of smog, acid rain, and toxic air pollution. Some emissions can be significantly reduced with readily available pollution controls, but most Chinese built coal plants have not installed these technologies.