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Crisis Forces Botswana To Fast-Track Projects

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
FUEL BLUES: Botswana will fast track projects meant to ensure reliable supplies PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Botswana will be forced to fast-track projects meant to ensure long-term solutions to fuel availability.

The country has been plunged into a fuel crisis following the breakdown of three South African refineries as well as a broken pipeline between Durban and Johannesburg, which have affected supplies.

The crisis is expected to deepen in the coming days, with South African truck drivers threatening to down tools tomorrow.

Botswana procures fuel from South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. The Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Lefoko Moagi said Botswana is increasing supplies from other countries, other than South Africa.

“The long term solution to reduce shortage of fuel is to speed up the process of completing the 186 million-litre Tshele storage facility and to fast-track the coal to liquids project so we can be self-sufficient. The other solution

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is to increase fuel storage,” he said.

Moagi said the projects would be done through Private Public Partnerships as an opportunity to accord Batswana a chance to participate as well.

Last year government diverted P2.25 billion Botswana Power Corporation funds to the Tshele Hills project, which seeks to boost the national strategic oil capacity.

While the Kgatleng District project was initially financed through the National Petroleum Fund, the latter’s depletion, partly by a money laundering scandal, has sent authorities scrambling for funds to finalise the project.

Meanwhile opposition leader, Dumelang Saleshando of the Umbrella for Democratic Change, has written a letter to Moagi, urging the government to urgently address the fuel situation. Moagi acknowledged Saleshando’s letter saying the matter was being addressed.



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