The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has ruled out reviving the collapsed Fengyue Glass plant, as glass manufacturing is not a viable investment option, the new managing director, Bashi Gaetsaloe says.
Appearing before a Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises yesterday, Gaetsaloe said the glass plant, which is under liquidation, carries too much risk and it was always going to be difficult to turn it into a commercially viable operation.
He was answering a question from the committee chairperson, Samson Moyo Guma who had wanted to know if BDC, under its new investment strategy, has any plans to reinvest in the project.
Guma: Are you going back into that project?
Gaetsaloe: No. We will not be looking at that project again. We engaged a glass-manufacturing consortium from the UK to conduct a due diligence of the project and the advice we got was that it is not a viable business operation. It’s extremely risky and it will not be easy to make profit from it.
Guma: What’s risky, is it Fengyue or glass manufacturing itself?
Gaetsaloe: We have fully provided for Fengyue in our last financial period to the tune of P500 million so that is not a problem. Before the decision to liquidate was taken, we did reassessment of the project to see if we could reinvest in the business. We then looked at it with a fresh pair of eyes with fresh experts and the advice we got was that glass manufacturing is not viable.
Guma: So it was never a viable project from the beginning?
Gaetsaloe: I don’t know. What I am saying is that the new experts we engaged carried a technical assessment, a commercial assessment and raw materials assessment and the conclusion reached was that manufacturing glass here is just not viable.
�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ACT/EMP seeks to strengthen business organisations such as Business Botswana so that they are more representative and increase their value to their members and potential members.
This work also enhances social dialogue in the countries concerned.
Botswana is a member of the ILO represented by the three constituent members of employers (Business Botswana), labour (Botswana Federation of Trade Unions) and the government.