Tuesday, May 11, 2021

No buyers for Fengyue glass project

No buyers have shown interest in purchasing the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC)’s  Fengyue Glass Manufacturing plant. The plant, situated in Palapye, is up for sale after the project collapsed and was put under liquidation.

BDC Head of Public Relations, Boitshwarelo  Lebang said in an interview with Sunday Standard that no buyers have so far shown interest in purchasing the Fengyue plant.

“As of now the process of liquidation is still ongoing and as such there are no buyers who have shown interest,” she said.

She however declined to discuss the issue further, insisting that there was not much to say on the topic at the moment.

“I suggest we wait until the process is finished,” she said.

However, observers believe BDC will find it difficult to attract buyers for the plant as it appears there was no proper feasibility study done before it was started.

“My fears are that the plant will end up a white elephant,” said one of the analysts.

The Fengyue glass project was expected to create many jobs for residents of Palapye and surrounding areas. Amongst the company assets that are up for auction is a float glass plant and equipment. An advert on the sale indicates that the float glass is designed to have a daily melting capacity of 450 tonnes per day of molten glass and designed in compliance with the China Louyang Float Glass Standards.  The majority of the plant and equipment remains in its original packaging. A list of other goods that are on site has been prepared by the contractor, though it has not been independently checked or verified.

The plant also boasts of a 100 hectare piece of land close to the center of Palapye and has a dedicated electricity substation with a railway spur. Of the area, 1,000 m by 600m has been fenced. There are also 11 temporary accommodation blocks on site. But these have been temporarily rented out to a third party for a period of two years with 18 months remaining on the lease.

Civil engineering works had commenced on most of the plant and required utilities buildings with the foundations been laid. Also, varying degrees of civil steel and concrete had been completed, though the exact level of completeness is not known. The advert further states that there are also construction plant and equipment consisting of small tools and heavy plant equipment and machinery, as well as assets from office and accommodation blocks for construction workers. The oxygen plant is believed to be complete and the oxygen is on site but in a self contained area. The oxygen plant consists of three independent buildings outside the area of the plant, but access to it can only be gained through the main entrance of the plant.

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