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African Energy negotiating with BPC to connect to

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African Energy has announced that it is currently negotiating with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) to use the national transmission grid. The coal mining company is currently developing an integrated coal mine as well as a 450MW power plant in eastern Botswana to export power to Zambia and neighbouring countries. African Energy Managing Director, Frazer Tabeart highlighted in a statement that dialogue continued with BPC regarding connection of Sese into the local 400kV transmission grid at Phokoje substation and use of the BPC transmission grid.

“An application for a Transmission Connection and Use of System agreement was made to Botswana Power Corporation. Preliminary discussions on the transmission/wheeling of power from Botswana through Zimbabwe and into Zambia have been held with Botswana Power Corporation and the Southern African Power Pool and are ongoing.” said Tabeart. He said technical studies for the Sese coal and power project have largely been completed to prefeasibility standard. “Detailed engineering studies and completion of a formal mine plan will be completed once commercial aspects of power wheeling and transmission have been finalised.” he said. Recently BPC launched the North West Transmission Grid Connection project, which will allow for development and expansion of commercial ventures, including mining operations into Northwest of the country.

The NWTGC is expected to provide grid access to all sectors of the economy including mining, tourism, commercial, domestic and improve electricity supply in the country. Currently BPC has signed Memorandum of Understanding with the mining company, Khoemacau to connect to the national grid. Through the project, the country aims to be energy sufficient with diversified, safe and clean energy sources, and to be a net energy exporter by 2020. In that regard, the country has embraced and supported the participation in power generation by the private sector.

However, the national power demand averages 550MW, of which the current national grid produces 450MW and150MW is imported from South Africa. African Energy also highlighted that a fully detailed application for an electricity Generation and Export License was submitted to the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority last year July and follow up meetings have been held with BERA, with more expected in the next quarter.

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the 300MW Sese Integrated Power Project has been updated for a larger project to include up to 500MW of power generation and the associated minor increase in volumes of coal mining/processing and airborne emissions. Tabeart explained that the updated document would be submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs in the next quarter. African Energy is also working on a 1.25 billion tonne Mmamantswe coal project, which is 20km from the international border with South Africa and is close to the regional power transmission grid. Mmamantswe has an approved Environmental Impact Assessment for up to 10Mtpa coal mining and up to 2,000MW of power generation. The project also has an 8GL/a registered water well field at Artesia, which could provide enough water for such a project. Technical studies have demonstrated the suitability of Mmamantswe coal for processing into a fuel-powered station similar to that used in the adjacent Waterburg coalfield in South Africa.

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ADB grants BDC P4m for capacity building

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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BDC head of human capital, Thabile Moipolai

African Development Bank has granted Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) over P4 million for training and capacity building of its staff members, the latter’s Managing Director, Bashi Gaetsaloe has disclosed.

The grant, which is $400,000 could not have come at a better time for BDC which has just begun a foray into the African continent. According to the Head of Human Capital at the investment arm of government, Thabile Moipolai, the grant will be used in areas such as investment, legal and risk, the three divisions which are considered critical as they continue to push the five -year strategy.

BDC has been given the leeway to invest outside Botswana and already some investments are being made in West Africa. Capacitating the staff in the above areas will come in handy for the African expansion.

Moipolai was answering a question from The Midweek Sun on Friday during the company’s annual stakeholder briefing where operational and financial reports for 2017/2018 were made public. The grant will be utilised in the next two years. BDC has reiterated its plan to continue to invest initiatives which are aimed at developing and retaining staff members.

“As we continue to build a strong BDC for the future, continuous learning and development is critical for our business success and therefore remains a priority area for Human Capital,” BDC 2017 annual report reads.

BDC has also developed a future focused competency based training that will be used to make informed learning and development decisions. “The (BDC) academy will also help BDC produce future leaders that are fluid and progressive through a bespoke leadership development,” reads the report.

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KBL announces return of Kickstart program

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Previous kickstart beneficiaries

Kgalagadi Breweries Limited, a unit of Sechaba has announced the return of Kickstart, a youth entrepreneurial development program that was suspended three years due to lack of financial resources, Managing Director, Renaud Beauchamp has told the media.

Before the program was put on ice, it had benefited over 70 small medium enterprises with funding, mentoring and market access assistance. According to Beauchamp, the revamped Kickstart will start next year, with an annual budget of about P1, 5 million. “We plan to invest in 15 new businesses every year,” he said at a press briefing which also announced a price reduction for its alcohol brands such as St Louis, Castel Lite and Black Label.

Successful applicants will receive about P200, 000 grants to execute their business ideas. Beauchamp stated that, they have been able to reintroduce Kickstart from ‘freed capital’ as a result of the recent reduction in Alcohol Levy from 55 percent to 35 percent. The clear beer price reduction comes after the Alcohol Levy, which made beer expensive, was slashed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi regime some few months ago.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment has announced changes in trading hours for businesses that trade with liquor.

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