Khama launches Botswana Oil
President Ian Khama was on Tuesday expected to officially launch Botswana Oil Limited (BOL), a state owned oil company that will serve as the country’s transformation agency in the oil industry.
A communiqué from BOL Marketing and Communications Manager Ludo Mokotedi states that BOL is a key player in the oil and gas industry that will serve to safeguard and ensure efficiency of the country’s national fuel supply. The highly anticipated national oil company has been on the pipeline for a number of years now and was reportedly incorporated in 2012. BOL will be tasked with ensuring the security of Botswana’s fuel supplies, facilitating citizen economic empowerment in the petroleum sector and managing government strategic petroleum stocks. The company will also procure oil on behalf of government.
Government officials have announced that Batswana will be allowed to purchase shares in the company three years after it starts operations. The state oil company will spearhead negotiations with other oil companies to further diversify Botswana’s oil sources and reduce over dependence on neighboring South Africa for the supply of fuel and other related products. In his 2012 state of the nation address, President Khama said the oil company will construct a 149 million litre strategic storage facility at Tshele Hills in a bid to increase the national strategic reserves. BOL is critical to Botswana’s on-going efforts to diversify fuel routes and sources. Botswana has been in protracted negotiations with Mozambique and Namibia to source alternative oil supplies and is also exploring possibilities of importing crude from Nigeria through Walvis Bay.
Gazette Business is informed that Willie Mokgatlhe, former country chairman of Vivo energy (Shell Botswana) has been appointed as BOL’s founding Chief Executive Officer effective July 1. Mokgatlhe brings with him a wealth of experience, having worked as Vivo Energy’s country chairman for Botswana and Namibia and as government rapporteur for Africa in the Hague, Netherlands. He has also worked as Managing Director of Air Botswana.