Mmamantswe power station
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Mmamantswe power station is a shelved power station in Gabarone, Central, Botswana.
Table 1: Project-level location details
|Plant name||Location||Coordinates (WGS 84)|
|Mmamantswe power station||Gabarone, Central, Botswana||-24.402096, 26.573181 (approximate)|
The map below shows the approximate location of the power station.
Table 2: Unit-level details
|Unit name||Status||Fuel(s)||Capacity (MW)||Technology||Start year||Retired year|
|Unit 1||shelved||coal - unknown||600||unknown||–||–|
Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details
|Unit 1||African Energy Resources Ltd (AFR) [100.0%]|
Project-level coal details
- Coal source(s): Mmamantswe coal mine (proposed)
The proposed Mmamantswe Coal Project is in south-eastern Botswana, an area that has been estimated to contain 895 million tonnes of probable reserves. The mine and plant were initially proposed by the Perth, Australia headquartered energy company, the Aviva Corporation. An EIA was approved for the project by the Government of Botswana in October 2012. The EIA was for a coal mining operation of up to 10 million tonnes a year and a 2,000 MW power station.
In July 2015, African Energy announced it had signed a term sheet with an unnamed South African project developer to divest of Mmamantswe. Under the proposed deal, African Energy would sell the Mmamantswe project for an initial sum of US$10 million to the developer, with the option of another US$10 million if the deal was concluded.
In December 2015, African Energy said it had entered an agreement where TM Consulting (TMC) would acquire the Mmamantswe project for US$20 million, subject to certain conditions being met. The most important condition was that the bid consortium win a tender to build a 600 MW coal-fired power station for South Africa and take it to financial close.
In February 2016, Africa Energy said it registered a 600 MW coal plant with South Africa's coal base-load independent power project procurement (IPP) program.
In February 2018, African Energy Resources said it continued to support TM Consulting as the potential developer and buyer of the Mmamantswe coal to power project.
The October 2018 quarterly report of African Energy Resources noted that "The Company has executed a binding Share Sale Agreement under which it will sell the Mmamantswe Coal and Power project to TM Consulting (TMC) for US$20 million, subject to certain conditions being met, principally the financial close of a 600MW integrated power project."
Large off-taker needed
The January 2019 quarterly report noted the project "has been delayed whilst the parties review the recently released draft update to South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)." In addition, the Mmamantswe Prospecting Licence expired at the end of 2018: "an application for a further two‐year extension to the term of Mmamantswe Prospecting Licence PL69/2007 has been submitted to the Department of Mines." The coal mine license was extended in March 2019 through the end of 2021.
The January 2021, April 2021, July 2021, and October 2021 quarterly reports and 2021 annual report all noted the project still required a large off-taker for approximately 600 MW to be viable. The mining license was set to expire December 31, 2021.
As of May 2022, the same ongoing delays had been cited by African Energy Resources on their website, and the power station project appeared to be shelved.
The power station was not mentioned in African Energy Resources' 2022 Annual Report (dated June 2022), and as of June 2023, it was no longer mentioned on the company's website.  In a September 2023 letter to shareholders, African Energy stated that the "Mmamantswe Coal Prospecting License has been allowed to lapse due to lower likelihood of realising a commercial development."
Divested by way of an in-specie distribution
In October 2021, African Energy Resources' quarterly report noted the wholly owned Mmamantswe coal project was transferred into African Energy Limited. The subsidiary was spun-out of African Energy Resources as a public unlisted company, with its shares distributed on a 1 for 1 basis to existing African Energy shareholders via an in-specie distribution. The move was completed in November 2021, meaning African Energy Resources is now "exclusively focussed on copper and copper-gold projects in Australia" and no longer reports on African coal projects.
With the business climate increasingly unfavorable for investment in coal, African Energy Resources hived off its Botswanan coal assets from its Australian parent company, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. They are now held by a non-listed company, away from the sight of conscientious investors.
Initial project plans by Aviva
In June 2007, Aviva Corporation entered into a heads of agreement with Mawana Minerals (Pty) Ltd of Botswana to form a joint venture over the Mmamantswe Coal Project. On its website, the company stated that it would "spend $US0.5M over 18 months upon which Mawana will grant it an exclusive right to earn a 90% Joint Venture interest in the project by undertaking a Bankable Feasibility Study." The coal deposit had not been explored since 1983, but the company stated that the earlier exploration indicated three coal seams between 30 and 110 metres deep.
Despite limited information on the actual coal deposit, in June 2008 Aviva optimistically submitted an expression of interest to provide "1,000MW of baseload power production" to Eskom, the South African government-owned electricity utility, between 2012 and 2017.
The company stated that its "team of energy experts" charged with developing the Coolimba Power Station project would also help "advance the Mmamantswe Project."
Articles and Resources
- "African Energy completes the acquisition of 1.3Bt Mmamantswe Coal project in Botswana," Proactive Investors, July 10, 2013
- "SA investors bag another local power project," Mmegi, July 7, 2015
- "Mmamantswe Coal Project," African Energy Resources, accessed February 2014
- "Capital Raising and 1.3 BT Coal Project Acquisition," Africa Energy Resources, April 29, 2013
- "African Energy Resources’ Botswana projects aimed at SA’s IPP coal programme," Mining Review, May 2, 2016
- "African Energy finalises Mmamantswe partnership," Botswana Guardian, February 11, 2016
- "Coal-based Independent Power Producer programme announcement," Department of Energy, October 10, 2016 (pdf)
- "African Energy set to export power to Zambia," Sunday Standard, February 26, 2018
- "Quarterly Report," African Energy Resources, October 31, 2018
- "Quarterly Activities and Cashflow Report," African Energy Resources, January 31, 2019
- 2020 Annual Report, African Energy Resources, September 30, 2020
- "Quarterly Activities Report For The Period Ended 31 December 2020," African Energy Resources, January 29, 2021
- "Quarterly Activities Report For The Period Ended March 31, 2021," African Energy Resources, April 30, 2021
- "Quarterly Activities Report for the Period Ended 30 June 2021," African Energy Resources, July 29, 2021
- "Quarterly Activities Report for the Period Ended 30 September 2021," African Energy Resources, October 29, 2021
- "2021 Annual Report," African Energy Resources, September 30, 2021
- "Mmamantswe Coal Project", African Energy Resources, archived May 19, 2022
- "2022 Annual Report," African Energy Resources, June 30, 2022
- "Mmamantswe Coal Project", African Energy Resources, accessed June 22, 2023
- "Activities Report to Shareholders," African Energy Limited, September 8, 2023
- "Completion of In Specie Distribution," Listcorp, Alma Metals Limited (ASX:ALM) news, November 8, 2021
- "African Energy Resources to remove its Botswanan coal business from Australian Securities Exchange," September 11, 2021
- "Mmamantswe Coal Project", Aviva Corporation website, accessed August 2008
- "Power EOI Submitted to Eskom," Media Release, June 19, 2008
To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.