Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Coal to liquids plant underway

The Botswana government has invited prospective bidders for the creation of a coal-to-liquids plant with support from its State-owned oil company, Botswana Oil Limited (BOL).

Botswana oil says that the purpose of the prequalification of the project aims to diversify the country’s economy and attain fuel self-sufficiency through the exploitation of the abundant coal resources.

The invitation is extended to prospective private companies and parastatal bidders to undertake a bankable feasibility study for the design, financing, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of a coal-to-liquids plant in Botswana.

The company indicates that a non-refundable deposit of P1 100 payable into the BOL account is required prior to being furnished with a pre-qualification document which outlines the modalities of the prequalification. The bids should be hand delivered on or before the closing date which is August 2, 2017.

Further a study undertaken by the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR) between 2012 and 2014 reveals that there are three main petroleum product consumption areas in Botswana, which are; the south eastern area represented by Gaborone, the north eastern area represented by Francistown and the western area represented by Gantsi/Maun.

According to Botswana Oil website these areas were found to constitute 57 percent, 35 percent and 8 percent of the overall national consumption of petroleum products respectively.

The study recommends the construction of Tshele Hills oil storage with a capacity of 150 million litres; expansion of Francistown by 30 million litres and construction of Gantsi oil storage facility with 15-million litre capacity to augment the existing two government storage installations currently in use.

“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,” BOL Chief Executive Officer Willie Mokgatlhe said.

On the basis of the above, government through Botswana Oil Limited (BOL) is working to expand the existing storage capacity for petrol and diesel in Francistown to meet the government’s strategic storage programme.

Although some spectators are concerned that the levy will hit hard on consumers who are already depressed financially because of a tight liquidity situation, there is a general view that the oil industry holds big potential for the country diamond led economy.

“We are managing other risks that come along and ensuring quality of resources, meeting global demand trends, the country’s economic and institutional context,” Mokgatlhe stated.

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