African Alliance invests in CBM power venture

Going green: African Alliance CEO Sean Rasebotsa
Going green: African Alliance CEO Sean Rasebotsa

Leading local fund managers, African Alliance Botswana will invest P33 million in Tlou Energy Limited, a company that is at an advanced stage of developing the country’s maiden gas-fired power project.

The investment, which will see African Alliance holding a 6.5% stake in the fledging energy company, is subject to Tlou listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) next month.

Tlou which is already listed in Australia (ASX) and London (AIM), has the most advanced Coal Bed Methane (CBM) project in Botswana with its the Lesedi Project in the central district benefitting from an independently certified Contingent Gas Resources of 3.2 trillion cubic feet (3C) and independently certified Gas Reserves of 261 billion cubic feet (3P).

Under the terms of the deal, African Alliance managed funds will subscribe for approximately 21.2 million new ordinary shares in Tlou at a subscription price of P1.56 per share, raising P33.0 million.

“Securing African Alliance managed funds as strategic long term and committed local shareholders in Botswana and listing on the BSE is a significant milestone for the company. Having local shareholders on our register confirms the support for the project from within the Botswana investment community and becoming a Botswana listed entity opens further development-funding options to the company,” Tlou’s managing director, Tony Gilby said.

 African Alliance declined to comment on the deal citing client confidentiality, but the condition that Tlou lists first suggests   the funds to be invested are to be sourced from a listed space mandate.    

Tlou says its will use the proceeds of the investment to complete current technical studies, commence first phase development drilling at the Lesedi project as well as fund the costs of the BSE listing.

The energy company, which has already been granted a CBM mining licence by government, aims to commence the first phase of project development early in 2018 as part of plans to deliver first power sales in 2019. 

“Tlou plans to submit an application to the Botswana Stock Exchange Committee for listing on the Main Board of the BSE this week.  “Listing on the BSE is expected to occur by mid-December 2017,” Tlou said in a statement. 

Tlou holds 10 prospecting licences covering an area of 8,300 square kilometres in Botswana, and is one of two companies selected to bid for the development of up to 100MW of power using CBM as an independent power producer (IPP).

The government has developed this initiative to allow companies such as Tlou to develop pilot plants and facilitate the development of their CBM resource to levels which may lead to the supply of gas to the state-owned 90MW Orapa Power Plant, which is situated approximately 150km to the north of the Lesedi CBM Project.

The dual fuel Orapa power station is currently running on diesel and the conversion to CBM is expected to reduce the cost of producing electricity at the plant by up to 60%.

In the next five years, government hopes to deliver up to 800MW of power through IPPs using coal, solar and CBM resources.

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