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Tlou energy flexes financial muscle

Baitshepi Sekgweng
ON GOING: Thou Energy Lesedi Project

Lesedi Project To Be Concluded By Mid Year With Substations At 37 Percent Completion

Despite some financial hiccups which led to Lesedi Project falling behind schedule, Tlou Energy is working towards project conclusion with the transmission line part already complete.

Currently, focus has moved to substations which are at 37 percent completion rate with expectation that they will be finished by mid 2024 paving a way for electricity generation into the national grid.

The planned substation at Lesedi was designed for an initial 5 MW of power, however the company is working on options that will allow the substation design to be adapted to facilitate expansion beyond 10 MW.

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A new substation is required at the Lesedi end of the transmission line whereas at the opposite end, it will feed into the existing BPC substation at Serowe, including the additional work required to expand capacity beyond 10 MW.

Tlou has a power purchase agreement deal with Botswana Power Corporation(BPC) for electricity supply of 10MW.

Initially the project was to conclude by late 2023 but delays in conclusion of the all the aspects pushed completion date to first quarter of 2024 before a further extension to mid 2024.

As it stands, it seems like the project is vastly bleeding Tlou Energy coffers as the company is currently on a drive to raise $13.3 million which will go towards funding the gas to power project.

“Raising of funds is something that we have always done every year ,its nothing new. But this does not mean that we are awash with cash ,invoices are coming in fast because considering all the work we are engaged in currently ,this is our most heaviest capital intensive period, “explained Tlou Energy Executive Director Gabaake Gabaake.

Gabaake said the delays in completion of the project were caused by various reasons.

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“We had a couple of challenges which we encountered with regard to delivery of material used at the site. Remember most of these materials are from outside the country so since Covid-19 we struggled to get deliveries. Further ,we had slight changes to the initial design because we had to optimise the cost of power production so that also contributed to the delay, “said Gabaake.

The Lesedi project currently has several components of the development process underway including the construction of transmission lines, substations, a field operations facility, generation site and production wells.

Situated approximately 100km from the nearest BPC substation connection in Serowe, the 100km 66kV transmission line has been completed.

However, the line will remain under the contractor’s (Zismo) care and maintenance until it is taken over upon energization in mid-2024.

“We keep on updating BPC of our progress and they are part of weekly progress meetings as well as monthly meetings held at the site in Nyamakatse. They do understand what is happening as well as the nature of the project. Remember this is the first of its kind in Botswana and it does have its own challenges so BPC is supportive because they are aware of the value and importance of this project, more especially towards contributing towards the local energy sector,” he said.

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