Botswana: SA Oil Supply Rations Sparks Off Shortages

(file photo).

Gaborone — Botswana Oil Limited is experiencing supply challenges as its biggest supplier, South Africa, has begun rationing.

The company's chief executive officer Mr Meshack Tshekedi told a media briefing in Gaborone on June 24 that South Africa has had to ration supply to the country as its capacity to service the domestic market had declined.

Mr Tshekedi said government had therefore authorised the use of eight million litres of reserves as well as given the green light on procurement from other countries such as Namibia and Mozambique.

He indicated that as supply from the two countries would be a costly exercise, government has had to subsidise transport costs.

According to Mr Tshekedi, the company had requested P5-6 million which would go towards subsidising transport from Mozambique and Namibia.

Meanwhile, Botswana Oil chief operations officer, Mr Mosetlho Kenamile revealed that six local trucking businesses had been approved to augment the transport value chain, meet demands and avert potential dry outs.

"Botswana currently has a total volume stock capacity of 55 million litres which would last up to 30 weeks if the situation was dire," he said.

Mr Kenamile said government was ramping up efforts to improve the energy security situation in the country which included capacity expansion of the Francistown depot.

The company was also embarking on several major projects which included the Tshele Hills storage facility development which through government moderation would be built through public private partnership, he said.

Moreover, Mr Kenamile said a second envisaged project slated for development was a Ghanzi depot as well as coastal storage.

When completed, the facilities would increase the country's stock-holding capacity, he said.

The Botswana Oil executives also lamented the low participation of Batswana in the gas and oil industry which they said was attributable to a gap in knowledge as well as the high modalities in entrance from an economic standpoint.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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