Tlou Energy Limited, the Coalbed Methane (CBM) and unconventional gas explorer with interests in Southern Africa, says it is making progress at is Botswana project.?Regional Manager for the Australian based company, Gabaake Gabaake, told a Resources Conference last week that they remain bullish on the project and could have gas bookings before the end of the year.
“Some people think we have not made progress, but CBM is a?methodological process,” said Gabaake adding that $AUS50 million (about P416 m) has been spent to drill holes up to date.
“We are making progress in the test gas production.”
The company’s major assets are in Botswana, where it has one of the most advanced CBM projects in the country. Its 100 percent owned Lesedi CBM project has an independently certified contingent resource of 2.3 trillion cubic feet (TCF) (3C). Tlou Energy holds the largest unconventional database in the region or even the whole continent where coal fired power stations dominates the energy sectors.?Gabaake said their primary target market when the gas finally flows is Orapa where talks are ongoing with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and government. The diesel powered Orapa 90 MW plants is one of the contingency projects where the state owned utility loses millions of Pula every year. He said the talks are very positive.
The company will look to have a pipeline to Orapa and another one to fuel the potential 300MW plant in Gaborone and Mahalapye. Botswana is currently experiencing power shortfalls because of failure at the P11 billion Morupule B project and BPC has been forced to import electricity from Eskom to fill the shortfall.??”South Africa is also struggling; the only reason they are giving us power is because they are making a killing, not that they have excess power,” said the former permanent secretary in the ministry responsible for energy.?Eskom last week declared an emergency as it could not meet rising demand on the back of the cold winter season affecting the region.?”The supply-demand management in the region will remain a challenge.
Even built projects are behind schedule and there will be outages up to 2016,” he added.?Although Gabaake remains bullish on the Botswana project, he admits the industry remains competitive as there are other producers in the country.?”The testing we are doing is positive and we hope to get reserves booked before the end of the year,” said Gabaake, adding that with the right government support, gas will be the second best thing after diamonds.?Tlou Energy said in May that the first gas supply is anticipated in Q2 2014 and revealed it will continue to provide regular updates on the dewatering process. Down-stream gas marketing initiatives have been steadily progressing in the background while the focus of activities remains on the dewatering process.