Sese Integrated Power Project

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Botswana and coal
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Sese Integrated Power Project is a proposed 450-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Botswana.


The map below shows the approximate location where the plant would be built, about 50 km south of Francistown.

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According to project developer African Energy (February 2014), the Sese Integrated Power Project has been designed around an initial 300 MW power station (2 x 150 MW coal-fired boilers) with a captive 1.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) coal mine providing the fuel. The lifetime is projected to be 30 years.[1]

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was described as "well underway" in a 2013 company presentation, with a projected start date for the power station by 2019.[2]

The EIA for the power station and coal mine was approved in September 2014. The 300 MW power station was described as the first of multiple coal plants planned at the location.[3]

In June 2015 sponsor African Energy said it planned to double the capacity of the plant to 600 MW, and double the capacity of the associated mine to 2.5 million tonnes per annum. African Energy said Canada's First Quantum Minerals (FQM) will fully fund the project, at an estimated cost of US$1.5 billion. FQM will take about half of the power to its Zambia copper mine operations, with the rest supplied to other markets.[4]

In April 2017, in a move intended to encourage private sector investment, the government of Botswana announced that it had granted First Quantum Minerals and African Energy Resources a tax holiday to build the project. The report described the project as 450 MW in size. According to press reports, the project would receive a five-year tax break beginning with its first year of commercial operation and a preferential 15 percent company tax rate thereafter, compared to the normal corporate tax break of 22 percent. The tax break will still require the approval of Parliament.[5] Plans for a phase II appear shelved.

In February 2018, African Energy Resources said the approved 300 MW Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Sese Integrated Power Project has been updated for a larger project to include up to 500 MW of power generation and an increase in coal mining and airborne emissions. The updated Environmental Impact Assessment will be submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs in the next quarter. The company said it planned to begin relocating residents in the project area.[6]

In August 2018, African Energy Resources reported its EIA for a 500 MW coal plant had been approved, and the company planned to build 2 x 225 MW units.[7] The company plans to export 100 MW (net) of the power from unit 1 to First Quantum Minerals in Zambia, leaving 88 MW net for sale to Botswana or export. The company is seeking financing from China for the project and "Initial engagements with Chinese SOEs have been positive".[8]

As of 2019 resettlement for the project is ongoing, and the PPAs are being negotiated. In addition to securing the PPAs, the main remaining commercial documents required for the project include Grid Connection, Transmission, and Use of System agreements with the power utilities in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.[9][10][11]

On March 9, 2020, African Energy Resources (AER) announced the signing of a generation license with the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority for the 300 MW coal plant. According to AER, the license marks the final regulatory approval required for the project, although financing and transmission infrastructure are yet to be secured.[12]

In June 2020, the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority awarded a generation license to the project for 225MW of coal power.[13]

According to a January 2021 quarterly activities report, Sese JV has secured: (1) A large-scale mining licence for 25-years (can be renewed) over an area of approximately 51 km2 which contains 650Mt of coal in resources; (2) A Development Approval Order under which the project qualifies for a 5-year tax holiday from the commencement of commercial operations followed by a 15% corporate tax rate; (3) Secured Land Rights and an associated 50-year Land Lease Agreement; (4) Water extraction rights from Shashe Dam, and an associated Water Supply Agreement; (5) Environmental approval for the project for up to 500 MW of power generation and the associated coal mining and coal processing volumes, and (6) Electricity Generation and Export Licence. It is unclear whether the licenses only apply to 225 MW are all proposed units. In addition, Sese JV has executed power sales agreements with Kalumbila Minerals Limited (Zambian subsidiary of FQM) and a Term Sheet with Zimasco (Pvt) Ltd, which together would consume the full output of the initial 300 MW power station for a period of 15 years. "Final commercial agreements are required for grid connection and use-of-system agreements in Botswana (negotiations underway), and use-of-system (wheeling) agreements with Zimbabwe and Zambia for power destined for those export markets."[14]


In April 2014 it was reported that Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power would be the lead developer and financier for the project.[15]

However, African Energy's 2017 Annual Report states that Canada's First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FQM) will fund the plant. FQM became a majority equity partner at the Sese Joint Venture in 2014 and invested AUD$13m for a 61% project interest and committed to invest a further AUD $5m to increase its stake to 75%. Power from Sese could be delivered to the Zambian Copperbelt where FQM operates a large copper mining and smelting business.[16][17]

As of January 2021, African Energy still owns 33.3% of the Sese Joint Venture (JV), which is developing the Sese Project. FQM owns the remaining 66.7% interest and is the manager.[14]

In 2018, African Energy Resources said the company is seeking financing from China for the project and "Initial engagements with Chinese SOEs have been positive".[18] FQM is hoping to make the project a candidate for evaluation under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.[19]

In January 2021, a quarterly activities continued to report that Sese JV is engaged with prospective partners for financing and construction of the Sese Project and is progressing these negotiations. Negotiations to date have focussed on an initial installed capacity of 300 MW gross (2 x 150 MW units), which would produce approximately 260 MW of net power available for sale and which would satisfy the initial requirements under the Kalumbila Minerals Power Sales Agreement and the Zimasco Term Sheet, or the 300 MW IRP tender.[14]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Sese Power Pty Ltd.
  • Parent company: First Quantum Minerals (FQM) (66.7%); African Energy Resources (33.3%)
  • Location: Francistown, Botswana
  • Coordinates: -21.3787975, 27.4405217 (approximate)
  • Status: Permitted
  • Capacity: 450 MW (Units 1&2: 225 MW)
  • Type:
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Domestic
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. "Sese Integrated Power Project," African Energy Resources, accessed Feb 2014.
  2. "Coal Export & Power Development Opportunities in Botswana," African Energy, September 2013.
  3. "EIA approved for Sese," African Energy Resources, Sep 4, 2014
  4. "Sese power plant to cost P15bn," Mmegi, June 12, 2015
  5. "Botswana govt grants tax holiday for 450 Megawatt coal power project," Economic Times Energyworld, April 27, 2017
  6. "Development of AFR power station underway," Global Post, Feb 19, 2018
  7. "Sese EIA Approval Increased to 500MW," African Energy Resources, Aug 16, 2018
  8. "Power Generation and Coal Export Project Developments," AGM Presentation, 16 November 2018
  9. "Quarterly Activities and Cashflow Report," African Energy Resources, January 31, 2019
  10. 2019 Annual Report, African Energy Resources, 14 Oct 2019
  11. "Sese Joint Venture Project," African Energy Resources, accessed Feb 2014.
  12. "Botswana: Sese coal plant obtains generation licence | African Energy". March 10, 2020. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  13. "Botswana grants first ever generation licenses to IPPs |". 2020-06-22. Retrieved 2020-08-04.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "Quarterly Activities Report For The Period Ended 31 December 2020," African Energy, Jan 29, 2021
  15. "Regional update - Botswana: power plants and railways," World Coal, Apr 18, 2014
  16. Annual Report, African Energy Resources, 2017
  17. "Developing Power Projects in Southern Africa," African Energy, London 121 Presentation, April 2016
  18. "Power Generation and Coal Export Project Developments," AGM Presentation, 16 November 2018
  19. 2020 Annual Report, African Energy Resources, 30 Sep 2020

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