Mabesekwa Export Independent Power Plant

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Botswana and coal
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The Mabesekwa Export Independent Power Plant is a proposed 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station and mine near Francistown, Botswana.


The map below shows Francistown, the approximate location where the plant would be built.

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In March 2015 Botswana's Shumba Coal partnered with a South African firm, Mulilo Group, for the joint development of the 300 MW Mabesekwa Export Independent Power Plant (MEIPP). The MEIPP includes coal mining at Mabesekwa coal field, located some 60km south-west of the town of Francistown and 40km west of Tonota /Shasheis. About 40 MW will go to power mining activities, and the rest exported to South Africa.[1]

Shumba said it plans to apply for South Africa's next round of independent power producer (IPP) programme, and look for a strategic partner for mine development at the Mabesekwa coal field site.[2] The project is also shortlisted in the Government of Botswana Greenfield Coal Baseload IPP Programme, which will be a parallel bid submission. The plant may be two or four generating units, each with an output of 150 MWe gross with a maximum capacity of 600 MWe gross total depending on grid integration and evacuation constraints, according to Shumba.[3]

In July 2016 Shumba Energy said it had obtained the "environmental thumbs up for its coal mine and associated 600 MW mine-mouth power station independent power project (IPP) at Mabesekwa."[4] In October 2016 South Africa's Department of Energy announced that the successful bidders for the 1st coal-based IPP Programme were the Thabametsi power station and the Khanyisa power station.[5]

In July 2017 Shumba Energy said it planned to begin mining of the Mabesekwa coal field in 2018, with development of the initial 2 x 150 MW coal plant (phase I) to follow.[6]

In February 2018, Kibo Mining and Tanzania’s state-owned utility company TANESCO signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a PPA for the plant.[7]

As of March 2019 the project is seeking financing. The mining license is outstanding for the Mabesekwa coal mine.[8]

In August 2019, Shumba Energy signed an agreement with two Chinese EPC companies Powerchina International Group and Wison Group for the development of a US$1 billion coal-to-liquids plant (CTL), known as Project Tsosoloso. The CTL plant will use coal from Shumba's Mabesekwa prospect in Botswana. The initial 300 MW of the Mabesekwa coal plant will fuel the CTL plant.[9]

In June 2020, the 600MW project received a generation license from the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority.[10]


Mabeswekwa is planned to be 70% debt-financed, with the balance funded through equity, possibly through development agencies such as the South African government-owned Industrial Development Corporation and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.[11]


In November 2017 Kibo Mining acquired an 85% interest in the Mabesekwa project from Shumba Energy. Shumba will retain a 15% interest in the Project.[12]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Kibo Energy (85%), Shumba Energy (15%)
  • Parent company:
  • Location: near Francistown, North East District, Botswana
  • Coordinates: -21.173611, 27.5125 (approximate)
  • Status: Permitted
  • Capacity: 600 MW (4 x 150 MW per unit)
  • Type: Circulating Fluidised Bed
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Mabesekwa coal field
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. "The Mabesekwa Export IPP Project (the “Project”)," Shumba Coal, accessed June 2015
  2. David McKay, "Shumba Energy eyes electricity export deal with Eskom," Mining Mx, April 29, 2016
  3. "The Mabesekwa Export IPP Project (the “Project”)," Shumba Coal, accessed May 2016
  4. "Botswana gives enviro thumbs up for coal-to-power export IPP," Mining Weekly, July 7, 2016
  5. "Coal-based Independent Power Producer programme announcement," Department of Energy, 10 October 2016 (pdf)
  6. "Shumba plans to fast-track Mabesekwa into production," Crown, 25 July 2017
  7. "Kibo Mining repositions as an African energy company," Mining Review, April 24, 2018
  8. "Mozambique: Kibo provides update on four key projects," IEA Clean Center, March 28, 2019
  9. "Kibo and Shumba reorganize strategy for MCIPP," Mining Review, Sep 25, 2019
  10. "Botswana grants first ever generation licenses to IPPs |". 2020-06-22. Retrieved 2020-08-04.
  11. "The Mabesekwa Export IPP Project (the “Project”)," Shumba Coal, accessed May 2016
  12. "Evolving Strategy to Re-Position as an Energy Company With Acquisition of Strategic Botswana Power Project," Kibo Mining, 30 November 2017

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