According to a business spokesperson, India’s Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) (JNSP.NS) would begin construction on a Jindal Coal Mine in Botswana southern Mmamabula coalfields in 2022, with the goal of supplying the export market and a proposed coal power station. The mine is expected to generate 4.5 million tonnes of coal each year, according to the Indian industrial behemoth.
Botswana Coal in high demand
Neeraj Saxena, the CEO of Jindal Botswana, indicated that Jindal Coal Mine in Botswana construction would begin next year and take two to three years to complete. He went on to say that regional demand is growing and that the South African market is interested in Botswana’s coal. Despite the worldwide move away from coal, Botswana plans to develop its estimated 212 billion tonnes of coal reserves. In April, it shortlisted Jindal, Minergy Ltd (MIN.BT), African Energy Resources Ltd (AFR.AX), and Maatla Resources for a 300 MW coal-fired power project tender.
Botswana accepted a worldwide commitment to limit coal consumption at the COP26 climate summit this month but declined to sign a vow to cease awarding new coal mining licenses. Just before the end of the climate negotiations, India and China intervened at the last minute to convert the desired coal phase-out to a phase-down.
The 300MW power plant procurement has been reduced to three bidders after Maatla Resources withdrew due to financial issues, among other things. African Energy Resources, based in Australia, is still in the running. The corporation intends to spin off its coal activities into a separate company that will be unlisted. The offer will also be pursued by Minergy, which operates the country’s sole running privately-owned coal mine. Botswana wants to expand renewable energy’s proportion of its electricity from 2% to 18% in the next 20 years, and the coal plant is the country’s sole proposed fossil-fuel-based power project right now.