Home » News » Business » SASOL, Chinese firms jump into multibillion Pula BOL CTL project

SASOL, Chinese firms jump into multibillion Pula BOL CTL project

Publishing Date : 17 February, 2020

Author : REARABILWE RAMAPHANE

Botswana‘s highly anticipated Coal-liquefaction project is taking shape, this is according to Minister of Mineral  Resources , Green Technology & Energy Security Lefoko Maxwell Moagi. Speaking to international media this week at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town South Africa, Minister Moagi revealed that the project is anticipated to be in full swing by 2025.


In 2017 government wholly owned Botswana Oil Limited (BOL) floated a tender in the market requesting for expression of interest from investors, financiers and technical partners for bankable feasibility study, as well as to design, finance, construct, own, operate and maintain a coal to liquids plant in Botswana. The project which has the potential to create an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 jobs will cost a total cost of over P40 billion in a period of 4- 5 years of construction.


It is believed that the development of the Coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant will go a long way in ensuring that Botswana becomes fuel self-sufficient with further potential of being a net exporter of petroleum products in Southern Africa and the African region. “The Coal to liquid plant is still in its infancy stage, but we believe now it will be accelerated,” Moagi told Reuters on the sidelines of the Mining Indaba Investment conference in Cape Town.


According to reports from Cape Town, some financial institutions in the region as well as international investment funders including Chinese firms are on the cards as potential financiers of the multibillion pula project.Minister Moagi further revealed that government has held preliminary discussions with Sasol, a leading Coal-to-liquid technology behemoth with multibillion dollar refinery currently supplying South Africa with millions of liters of synthetic fuel year on year out.


Coal liquefaction is a process of converting coal into liquid hydrocarbons: liquid fuels and petrochemicals. The  process involves conversion of coal into liquid fuels, including chemicals using several liquefaction processing to produce products such as petrol, paraffin, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), ammonia, wax and chemicals.


According to Minister Moagi Government is accelerating the development of CTL as it brings immense benefits for the country, including the creation of an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 jobs as well as potential for exports. “We believe coal has also got a beneficial way of being exploited without adding to the carbon footprint. We can convert it in coal-to-liquids, we can convert it to gas, we can do a lot of things with coal and these are the things we will be exploiting fully, “he said.


Establishing a Coal to liquid sector has also been viewed as a revolutionary industrial upswing that would also assist Botswana in developing spin-off industries, such as fertilizers, plastics and ammonia for explosives, which are used in mining. Botswana has over 200 billion tonnes of coal reserved and uses about 1.2 billion litres per annum of fuel, all of which is imported, mostly from South Africa.


SHUMBA PROJECT


Last year Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed coal exploration outfit Shumba Energy bought into Coal Petroleum Limited, a private company registered in Botswana that has been focused on the development of a commercial scale liquid fuels production facility, called “Project Tsosoloso.”.  Shumaba acquired 80 % holding of equity in the company.


Coal Petroleum Limited intends to provide Botswana and Africa with energy fuels and specialty chemicals for value added product production. The company has partnered with Powerchina International Group Limited and Wison Group both leading Chinese EPC companies with a proven track record and recent experience in the coal-based power & CTL technologies for the execution of the Bankable Feasibility Study.


They are in the process of completing the technical aspects of the BFS to a detailed and accurate capital and operating cost estimation required to secure the project execution funding. In the statement Shumba says it was continuing to engage with its partners Powerchina International and Wison on technical and project development issues, also on funding matters, including potential equity and project financing options.


Furthermore Shumba has entered into a binding Coal Supply Agreement with Coal Petroleum to guarantee supply of all the feedstock that would be required for the life of the Project from the Mabesekwa coal resource and project situated approximately 60km south-west of Francistown. Coal Petroleum is working with Shumba’s specialists for the integration of the Mabesekwa site geotechnical, regulatory permitting and environmental impact assessment activities. “The company now plans to build the proposed CTL facility at the Mabesekwa site and Coal Petroleum will now become a managed subsidiary of Shumba,” reads the statement.


BGI SIGNS DEAL WITH JOGMEC

Still at the Mining Indaba Investment Conference Botswana GeoScience Institute  Chief Executive Officer Mr Tiyapo H Ngwisanyi and the Executive Vice President of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) Mr Mitsuya Hirokawa singed  cooperative geological survey agreement for the geological mapping, geochemical and geophysical surveying of selected areas in Botswana.

POPULER BRANDS