CIC Coal to Hydrocarbons Project

From Global Energy Monitor

CIC Coal to Hydrocarbons Project was a proposed coal-to-liquids project in Botswana.


The map below shows the location of the Mmamabula coal field in Mmaphashalala, Botswana, but not the exact location of the CIC Coal to Hydrocarbons Project.

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According to project sponsor Jindal Group, which took over Canada-based CIC Energy in 2012, the planned Coal-to-Hydrocarbons (CTH) Project intended to convert coal to low sulphur diesel fuel and associated products. The Central and Eastern Blocks at the Mmamabula Coal Field were being considered for the CTH Project. The company requested proposals from a group of international companies regarding the production of low sulphur diesel fuel, and did not anticipate "significant further expenditure" on the CTH Project until such evaluations were completed."[1]

In June 2015, it was reported that Jindal plans to set up a 600MW power plant at Mmamabula, the Mmamabula Energy Project, with the off-takers likely to be South Africa’s Eskom, but no details are given.[2]

With no developments on the CTH project since 2012, the project appears to be abandoned.


The Mmamabula coalfield is considered to be a western extension of the Waterberg Coalfield in the Ellisras Basin in South Africa, which contains about 40% of South Africa's coal resources. The portions of the coalfield for which CIC Energy held licences are estimated to have 2.4 billion tonnes of thermal coal. Deposits were roughly 360 million tonnes in the Central block, 643 million tonnes in the Western block, and 1,392 million tonnes in the Eastern block. The South block, which lies on both sides of the road and rail corridor, is estimated to hold another 311 tonnes of coal.[3]

The Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources put up the Mmamabula South and Central blocks for tender in June 2012, once CIC's license was up for renewal. The blocks held about 670 million tonnes of coal. Bids would be evaluated in part on how quickly the bidder would be able to start exploiting the coal field.

However, in August 2012 the government decided to renew CIC's retention license for the central block, with about 361 million tonnes of coal. A week later the Competition Authority approved a proposed takeover of CIC Energy by Jindal Steel and Power of the Jindal Group, which wants large supplies of coal for its Indian steel plants.

In September 2012 it was announced that Jindal Steel and Power was completing a $116 million purchase of CIC Energy, acquiring its rights in the Mmamabula coalfield. Jindal said it planned to invest up to $700 million to develop a coal mine and a 300-MW power plant, the CIC Domestic Power Project, to sell energy to the Botswana Power Corporation. It would also develop coal exports from the field, possibly via rail to Mozambique. The deal was conditional on approval by the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources. Jindal also assumed control over the proposed Mmamabula Energy Project.[4]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: CIC Energy
  • Parent company: Jindal Group
  • Location: Mmaphashalala, Botswana
  • Coordinates: -23.609295, 26.774952 (approximate)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Capacity:
  • Type:
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. "Coal to Hydrocarbons Project" Jindal Africa, accessed February 19, 2014.
  2. "Sese power plant to cost P15bn," Mmegi, June 12, 2015
  3. CIC Energy, "Mmamabula Coalfield," Archived from the original on 2010-11-06. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  4. "Takeover hopes brighten for Mmamabula, Mmamantswe," Mmegi Online, January 20, 2012.

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