* Eyeing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA) to international markets

It is only a matter of time before Botswana starts to mine its own gas and generate enormous amount of power which can feed both the local and international markets, Botswana Guardian has reliably learned.

The gas mining project will be situated a few kilometres away from the Palapye-Serowe road, but nearer to Serowe in the Central District.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Trade, Mmusi Kgafela in an interview with Botswana Guardian about their recent trip to Australia with President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Kgafela revealed that while in Australia, they also met with Botana, a Motswana-owned company. Their aim is to be a diversified energy company producing reliable and dispatchable energy from renewables, backed by gas to meet

Botswana’s domestic energy requirements, as well as export energy to neighbouring countries and attract industries wanting reliable, renewable energy.

"These folks have technical knowledge and have always known that there is gas in that area. They applied for a prospecting license and made a discovery whose findings show that there is plenty of gas which can last for 30 years."

Kgafela said Botala is eyeing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) Agreement as a vehicle through which they can access markets outside Botswana.

Botala is currently working on the necessary logistics that involve the Ministry of Minerals. He added that as per protocol, there was a requirement to test the gas and indeed tests proved that there are large deposits.

Kgafela revealed that Botala is prepared to invest a lot of money in order to access the gas.

“If things go right, we may find Botswana being the powerhouse of electricity given the fact that our neighbour - South Africa - is struggling,” he said.

He added that government has impressed upon Botala that their gas is going to be converted into liquid form, put into tankers, therefore, they must give preference to Batswana transporters during the evacuation process.