Botswana’s leading minds in the coal industry are calling for the government to take robust steps in developing a world-class coal industry that can attract global major investments and encourage the birth of rigorous industrialisation, Weekend Post reported.
Andre Boje, Chief Executive Officer of Minergy, during his address at the recent Botswana Resource Sector Conference said, though Coal was viewed as a non-environmental source of energy, its industrial value could not go unnoticed and it could be mined with environmental precautions in place.
“Botswana with its abundant untapped reserves is better placed to emerge as a major player in the Global Coal industry,” said, adding, “Botswana’s coal is high quality and economical to mine.”
According to Weekend Post, prospected reserves show Botswana sitting over 200 billion tonnes of coal deposits that contain different segments of grade value as per economically minable mineralization.
There are 1,600 coal fired power plants, either being planned or under construction in 62 countries, which will, without older plant decommissioning, expand the world’s coal-fired capacity by 43%, said Boje. This signifies that coal will continue to play a major role in delivering energy access and security in the future, he pointed out.
However, with regard to the impact of coal on the environment, Boje noted, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), and High Efficiency Low Emission (HELE) are some of the mining and coal utilization models that are regarded as environmentally friendly.
“Modern coal-fired power plants using these technologies have reduced emissions to levels comparable to gas-fired powered plants,” said Boje.
Managing Director of Shumba Energy, Mashale Phumaphi, revealed that significant deposits of the Botswana Coal reserves were high grade for industrial purposes apart from power production. He stated that Coal –Liquefaction proposition could materialize and create thousands of jobs for Botswana citizens, and boost government revenue through taxation and royalties.
Already, a number of companies, mostly of Australian origin are on the ground exploring the economic mineralization of the coal deposits. This they say could help in job creation and further diversification of the economy.
Source: Weekend Post Botswana