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Masisi’s cabinet reshuffle backlogs 100 MW CBM tender

Publishing Date : 18 July, 2018


The new Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Eric Molale and his new Permanent Secretary Cornelius Dekop may be the reason why the tender for development of up to 100 MW of (coal-bed methane) (CBM)-fuelled power plants in Botswana is backlogging.

Information gathered by this publication suggests that none of the two men appeared to be lacking institutional memory about the tender. Last year the Ministry of Mineral Resources Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE) issued a Request for Proposal (‘RFP’) and opened a tender for development of a maximum of 100MW CBM fuelled power plants in Botswana by companies;

Tlou Energy Limited and Sekaname (Pty) Ltd. After the two companies submitted their bids, the government then decided to cancel the original RFPs and approved re-tendering through Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Board (PPADB) by Tlou and Sekaname this year February.

In an interview with this publication, Molale, who is new to the ministry after President Mokgweetsi Masisi reshuffled cabinet following his ascension to power in April this year,  suggested that nothing was done concerning the 100 MW CBM project during since he became the minister. Molale said in a brief interview that he was not aware of the project.

Officials at the ministry allege that both Molale and his PS were not given enough institutional memory especially concerning projects such as the 100 MW CBM project. Molale was roped in to lead the energy ministry following the last minister Sadique Kebonang’s involvement in a National Petroleum Fund (NPF) controversy. Efforts to contact Dekop were futile as his phone rang unanswered.

Fresh information is that chairman for the Australian mining company Tlou Energy Martin McIver last week came all the way from Australia to meet with Molale to start negotiations on the 100 MW CBM tender. This is despite Molale saying he does not know about this tender.

In an interview with this publication, Tlou Energy Executive Director Gabaake Gabaake was clueless as to the update of the project. He also confirmed that Tlou Energy chairman met with Molale recently. Last week in an interview with Proactive’s Andrew Scott, Gabaake said he is positive that the tender will be implemented as the company’s directors have been getting positive feedback from government or the ministry recently.  He said this is going to be a major project will open more jobs from the people of Mashoro where mining will be done.

Tlou Energy believes as 100% owner of the most advanced gas project in the country, the Lesedi CBM Project, it will provide investors with access to a compelling opportunity using domestic gas to produce power and displace expensive diesel and imported power. Botswana has a significant energy shortage and generally relies on expensive imported power and diesel generation to fulfill its power requirements. Experts predict that Botswana’s power demand is to increase by 37 percent to 1,017MW by 2025.



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