With the new Zambia mandate, Scaling Solar now has over 1.2 GW of solar power under development across four markets
Johannesburg, South Africa, February 21, 2017 — The Government of Zambia signed agreements today for a second mandate with Scaling Solar, the World Bank Group program that is helping developing countries procure low cost, privately financed, solar power. This is Zambia’s second engagement with Scaling Solar and it follows successful auctions held in May 2016 for two solar PV plants of up to 50 MW each that attracted some of the world’s top renewable energy developers.
The winning developers and relevant Zambian government agencies are in the process of concluding their agreements, which are expected to be finalized in May 2017, and the World Bank Group’s Board approved a package of financing and guarantees for one of the two winning bidders and will review the same for the second winner in the coming weeks.
The new Scaling Solar mandate will begin with an initial procurement round of up to 200 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale clean energy, with subsequent rounds to follow with a goal of developing 500 MW of renewable power. The Request for Qualifications for the second round are expected to be released in late March 2017.
Only about a fifth of the population in Zambia has access to electricity and the country often experiences up to 10 hours a day of load shedding or blackouts. The Scaling Solar mandate will be led by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Zambia, in close coordination with the Ministry of Energy, and is expected to comprise the structuring and tendering of up to four solar plant projects of 50 MW to 100 MW each. Each plant will be developed by different private sector sponsors through an open and competitive bidding process.
Mateyo C. Kaluba, Acting Chief Executive Officer of IDC Zambia, said: “Completing a first solar public-private partnership in a country is a massive undertaking. The package of bankable documents, transaction structuring advice, and research that Scaling Solar provided saved us considerable time, attracted more competitors, and ensured a successful process. The biggest benefit has been having the Scaling Solar team every step of the way to keep the process moving forward.”
“The partnership between Scaling Solar and IDC Zambia is successfully delivering the affordable renewable energy needed to ease the country’s ongoing energy crisis,” said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director of Eastern and Southern Africa. “Access to electricity is vital for achieving development goals. In Zambia, Scaling Solar has helped create a market that will make it easier for the public and private sectors to work together to meet the country’s energy needs and expand opportunities for families and businesses.”
The two rounds in Zambia, along with Scaling Solar projects currently in progress in Senegal, Madagascar, and Ethiopia, will combine to develop and tender over 1.2 gigawatts of solar power, bringing much needed generation capacity to countries struggling to meet their power needs. The program is also expanding to other regions, with countries in Asia and the Middle East in discussions to join Scaling Solar.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.