“We want to address the regional and international energy deficits as we have gone through periods of load shedding with increasing electricity tariffs in recent years,” Mashale Phumaphi, Shumba Coal’s managing director told CNBC Africa.
“Shumba Coal would like to produce coal to address the energy shortage in the short term with targets of exporting coal in the medium to long term for usage in the region and international market.”
Mashale warned that the impending ‘coal cliff’ if not addressed would see energy woes worsening.
“Coal cliff that is coming into South Africa as ageing mines will start cutting down on production means Eskom will require a new supplier of coal as to avoid load shedding.”
(READ MORE: S.African power grid "not looking good": Eskom)
He also noted that Southern Africa economies had an existing infrastructure that made it easy to transmit coal from one country to another.
“The beautiful thing about the Southern Africa Power Pool is that it’s a regional power grid with nine member countries and three countries not connected. This facility allows an independent power producer to transmit energy through coal by wire.”
However, though Shumba Coal’s long term targets are to supply energy to the region, the company’s development will be gradual.
“We are starting with a modular approach of 300 megawatts and increase slowly as the years go by which will help us to grow with tried and tested technology,” he added.
Botswana is ranked in the top two countries in Africa as far as corporate governance is concerned.
“Regulations and procedures in Botswana are clear cut as everything is done by the book. The way licensing is conducted makes private sector players comfortable and secure in the way the licensing regime operates.”
Mashale urged external investment into the country’s coal sector noting that the country has the largest undeveloped coal resources on the African continent.
BY TRUST MATSILELE