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Govít to support citizen investors in fuel industry

ISAAC PINIELO
Oil and gas industry is dominated by international oil companies
The government would handhold citizen companies that take lead in participating in the oil and gas industry, Mmegi Business has established.

Through Botswana Oil Limited (BOL), citizen emerging companies will be offered training on the operations of the industry, facilitating their participation and availing opportunities for them within the value chain.

BOL government and stakeholder relations manager, Matida Mmipi said this includes, amongst others, informing and educating them on the industry, reserving lease storage facilities for them in the BOL depots, as well as supplying them with products.

She said oil and gas is a capital-intensive industry that is dominated by international oil companies, making it difficult for small companies to break into the industry.

“By providing them with training to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to operate in the industry, BOL breaks the barriers of entry into the industry by these companies,” Mmipi said. Cognisant of the costs associated with oil and gas infrastructure development, she said BOL also offers them storage space for lease on its infrastructure to enable them to meet specifications of tenders by private companies and government departments for the supply of petroleum products.

She further stated that there is a growing interest in the industry, noting that the attendance of citizens at the recent oil and gas workshop bears testimony to that.

However, Mmipi clarified that BOL does not provide

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funding. She explained that they have only partnered with funders that include the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) and Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) to educate the companies on available funding opportunities once they have identified areas of interest in the oil and gas industry.

She further emphasised that the BOL will be introducing mobile filling stations, referred to as Remote Areas Energy Centres, which will be reserved for citizen companies.

“Five areas have been identified for the pilot phase of the project,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, through the Department of Energy is in the process of seeking prospective private companies and parastatal bidders to undertake a bankable feasibility study, design, finance, construct, own, operate and maintain a coal to liquids plant in Botswana as a private sector-led initiative with support from BOL.

According to Mmipi, the project aims to diversify Botswana’s economy and attain fuel self-sufficiency through the exploitation of the country’s abundant coal resources.

She said BOL is mandated to ensure the security and efficiency of petroleum products in the country, manage the government’s strategic fuel reserve facilities and stocks as well as facilitate the meaningful participation of citizens in the oil and gas industry.



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