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Shumba Energy enters into liquid fuels partnership

Shumba Energy Ltd has notified its shareholders and the public that it has concluded a joint venture partnership which has led to it holding 80% of the equity in Coal Petroleum Ltd (“CoPet”).


CoPet is a private Botswana company that has been focused on the development of a commercial scale liquid fuels production facility, called ‘Project Tsosoloso’ and providing Botswana first and then Africa with energy fuels and specialty chemicals for value added product production.

CoPet has partnered with Powerchina International Group Limited (PowerChina International) and Wison Group (Wison), both leading Chinese EPC companies with a proven track record and recent experience in the coal-based power & CTL technologies for the execution of the Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS).

They are in the process of completing the technical aspects of the BFS to a detailed and accurate capital and operating cost estimation required to secure the project execution funding. Shumba is continuing to engage with its partners Powerchina International and Wison on technical and project development issues, also on funding matters, including potential equity and project financing options. Backgrounds to both Powerchina International and Wison can be found further in the announcement.


Further, Shumba has entered into a binding Coal Supply Agreement with CoPet to guarantee supply of all the feedstock that would be required for the life of the Project from the Mabesekwa coal resource and project situated approximately 60km south-west of Francistown. CoPet is working with Shumba’s specialists for the integration of the Mabesekwa site geotechnical, regulatory permitting and environmental impact assessment activities. CoPet now plans to build the proposed CTL facility at the Mabesekwa site and CoPet will now become a managed subsidiary of Shumba.


Project Status

The baseline technical and economic assessment of the envisaged commercial scale coal to liquids (CTL) plant facility and the technical direction and development of the Project within CoPet has been completed by Holland and Hausberger (HH), a 10% shareholder in CoPet.  HH are a highly qualified and experienced project development and consulting engineering company in the petrochemical and natural resources conversion process space and have been involved with the project since conceptualization and also completed the pre-feasibility study (PFS) issued in 2014.

Through Powerchina International and Wison the BFS is underway following which the Project will initiate the Front-End Engineering Design (“FEED”) and then it is envisaged will execute the balance of the project under a Lump Sum Turnkey project basis to commercial production.
 
Powerchina International

POWERCHINA International Group Limited (POWERCHINA International) is the world’s largest hydropower, electricity and infrastructure construction group with the strongest comprehensive strength and strongest brand impression among the industry—It is the overseas business headquarter of the Power Construction Corporation of China (POWERCHINA) and core enterprise.

With the development of its electric power business taking priority, Powerchina International employs a twofold strategy for project contracting and investment & development, and gives priority to the development of four business segments: hydropower and water affairs, thermal power and power grid, traffic engineering, and new energy. At of the end of 2017, PowerChina International has set up 322 overseas offices in 109 countries. The total contract value of projects under construction exceeds $100 billion.

Wison

Wison Group is a diversified group focusing on energy chemical services with three core businesses consisting of Engineering Services, Offshore & Marine Engineering and New Chemical Material. The Group has established presence in Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North America, South America, Europe and other regions. Its remit of business covers the storage and utilization of primary energy including coal, oil and natural gas, onshore energy engineering services, marine engineering equipment fabrication and downstream new chemical materials development.

As China's leading technical solution provider in energy sector, it is specialized in technologies and engineering construction services including petrochemical, refinery, C1 chemical, central processing facility and LNG & power generation. With multiple commercialized proprietary intellectual property rights, the company can provide solutions to its customers covering the entire project life cycle.

Shumba

Shumba is a coal mining and energy development company based in Botswana and listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange. Shumba has over the last couple years progressed from an exploration company to an energy development company and sits on over 4.5 billion tonnes of thermal coal.

As a major industry player, Shumba’s mission is to satisfy the growing energy demand in the SADC region as a result of chronic power shortages. For Shumba “Powering the Future” means addressing chronic power shortages head-on and supplying energy to affected southern African countries in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. Established in 2011, Shumba now owns a significant portion of advanced energy projects in Botswana and is uniquely positioned with its strategy to develop energy projects that are unaffected by the volatility of global commodity prices.

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P230 million Phikwe revival project kicks off

19th October 2020
industrial hub

Marcian Concepts have been contracted by Selibe Phikwe Economic Unit (SPEDU) in a P230 million project to raise the town from its ghost status.  The project is in the design and building phase of building an industrial hub for Phikwe; putting together an infrastructure in Bolelanoto and Senwelo industrial sites.

This project comes as a life-raft for Selibe Phikwe, a town which was turned into a ghost town when the area’s economic mainstay, BCL mine, closed four years ago.  In that catastrophe, 5000 people lost their livelihoods as the town’s life sunk into a gloomy horizon. Businesses were closed and some migrated to better places as industrial places and malls became almost empty.

However, SPEDU has now started plans to breathe life into the town. Information reaching this publication is that Marcian Concepts is now on the ground at Bolelanoto and Senwelo and works have commenced.  Marcian as a contractor already promises to hire Phikwe locals only, even subcontract only companies from the area as a way to empower the place’s economy.

The procurement method for the tender is Open Domestic bidding which means Joint Ventures with foreign companies is not allowed. According to Marcian Concepts General Manager, Andre Strydom, in an interview with this publication, the project will come with 150 to 200 jobs. The project is expected to take 15 months at a tune of P230 531 402. 76. Marcian will put together construction of roadworks, storm-water drains, water reticulation, street lighting and telecommunication infrastructure. This tender was flouted last year August, but was awarded in June this year. This project is seen as the beginning of Phikwe’s revival and investors will be targeted to the area after the town has worn the ghost city status for almost half a decade.

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IMF projects deeper recession for 2020, slow recovery for 2021

19th October 2020

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed its outlook the world economy projecting a significantly deeper recession and slower recovery than it anticipated just two months ago.

On Wednesday when delivering its World Economic Outlook report titled “A long difficult Ascent” the Washington Based global lender said it now expects global gross domestic product to shrink 4.9% this year, more than the 3% predicted in April.  For 2021, IMF experts have projected growth of 5.4%, down from 5.8%. “We are projecting a somewhat less severe though still deep recession in 2020, relative to our June forecast,” said Gita Gopinath Economic Counsellor and Director of Research.

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Botswana partly closed economy a further blow of 4.2 fall in revenue

19th October 2020

The struggle of humanity is now how to dribble past the ‘Great Pandemic’ in order to salvage a lean economic score. Botswana is already working on dwindling fiscal accounts, budget deficit, threatened foreign reserves and the GDP data that is screaming recession.

Latest data by think tank and renowned rating agency, Moody’s Investor Service, is that Botswana’s fiscal status is on the red and it is mostly because of its mineral-dependency garment and tourism-related taxation. Botswana decided to close borders as one of the containment measures of Covid-19; trade and travellers have been locked out of the country. Moody’s also acknowledges that closing borders by countries like Botswana results in the collapse of tourism which will also indirectly weigh on revenue through lower import duties, VAT receipts and other taxes.

Latest economic data shows that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2020 with a decrease of 27 percent. One of the factors that led to contraction of the local economy is the suspension of air travel occasioned by COVID-19 containment measures impacted on the number of tourists entering through the country’s borders and hence affecting the output of the hotels and restaurants industry. This will also be weighed down by, according to Moody’s, emerging markets which will see government losing average revenue worth 2.1 percentage points (pps) of GDP in 2020, exceeding the 1.0 pps loss in advanced economies (AEs).

“Fiscal revenue in emerging markets is particularly vulnerable to this current crisis because of concentrated revenue structures and less sophisticated tax administrations than those in AEs. Oil exporters will see the largest falls but revenue volatility is a common feature of their credit profiles historically,” says Moody’s. The domino effects of containment measures could be seen cracking all sectors of the local economy as taxes from outside were locked out by the closure of borders hence dwindling tax revenue.

Moody’s has placed Botswana among oil importers, small, tourism-reliant economies which will see the largest fall in revenue. Botswana is in the top 10 of that pecking order where Moody’s pointed out recently that other resource-rich countries like Botswana (A2 negative) will also face a large drop in fiscal revenue.

This situation of countries’ revenue on the red is going to stay stubborn for a long run. Moody’s predicts that the spending pressures faced by governments across the globe are unlikely to ease in the short term, particularly because this crisis has emphasized the social role governments perform in areas like healthcare and labour markets.

For countries like Botswana, these spending pressures are generally exacerbated by a range of other factors like a higher interest burden, infrastructure deficiencies, weaker broader public sector, higher subsidies, lower incomes and more precarious employment. As a result, most of the burden for any fiscal consolidation is likely to fall on the revenue side, says Moody’s.

Moody’s then moves to the revenue spin of taxation. The rating agency looked at the likelihood and probability of sovereigns to raise up revenue by increasing tax to offset what was lost in mineral revenue and tourism-related tax revenue. Moody’s said the capacity to raise tax revenue distinguishes governments from other debt issuers.  “In theory, governments can change a given tax system as they wish, subject to the relevant legislative process and within the constraints of international law. In practice, however, there are material constraints,” says Moody’s.

‘‘The coronavirus crisis will lead to long-lasting revenue losses for emerging market sovereigns because their ability to implement and enforce effective revenue-raising measures in response will be an important credit driver over the next few years because of their sizeable spending pressures and the subdued recovery in the global economy we expect next year.’’

According to Moody’s, together with a rise in stimulus and healthcare spending related to the crisis, the think tank expects this drop in revenue will trigger a sizeable fiscal deterioration across emerging market sovereigns. Most countries, including Botswana, are under pressure of widening their tax bases, Moody’s says that this will be challenging. “Even if governments reversed or do not extend tax-easing measures implemented in 2020 to support the economy through the coronavirus shock, which would be politically challenging, this would only provide a modest boost to revenue, especially as these measures were relatively modest in most emerging markets,” says Moody’s.

Botswana has been seen internationally as a ‘tax ease’ country and its taxes are seen as lower when compared to its regional counterparts. This country’s name has also been mentioned in various international investigative journalism tax evasion reports. In recent years there was a division of opinions over whether this country can stretch its tax base. But like other sovereigns who have tried but struggled to increase or even maintain their tax intake before the crisis, Botswana will face additional challenges, according to Moody’s.

“Additional measures to reduce tax evasion and cutting tax expenditure should support the recovery in government revenue, albeit from low levels,” advised Moody’s. Botswana’s tax revenue to the percentage of the GDP was 27 percent in 2008, dropped to 23 percent in 2010 to 23 percent before rising to 27 percent again in 2012. In years 2013 and 2014 the percentage went to 25 percent before it took a slip to decline in respective years of 2015 up to now where it is at 19.8 percent.

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