Local time: Monday, 17 February 2020 03:19:50hrs
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Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR)
President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama cites minimum participation of local companies in the petroleum industry as a major factor that led to the formation of Botswana oil Limited. Speaking at the launch of Botswana Oil Limited (BOL) on October 14, the President said, the majority of companies that are major players in the petroleum industry in this country are multinational companies. The government therefore saw it fit to form a company that is 100% owned by government to assure security of supply of such products. He said shortage of petroleum products can hugely impact on the economy of this country negatively. “To this end, government saw it fit to partake in the supply of petroleum rather than solely relying on multinational oil companies.” The president said. His Excellency also added that “Without a continual and secure supply of petroleum products, our economy could be compromised.” He however said government continues to recognize the efforts being put by these companies. These companies are usually driven by return on investments therefore most decisions they take are commercially based, he said. The President gave an example of what BP did in 2010 when it divested its operations in Botswana and when Shell also sold significant portion of their investments.
As a way of showing how huge the impact of petroleum products is in the country’s economy, President Khama said the key sector that drives Botswana’s economy which is mining consumes more petroleum than any other. “Orapa and Letlhakane mines alone consume about 1.3 million litres of diesel per month while emergency power supplies in Orapa consume an average of 22 000 litres of diesel per hour at full capacity” he said BOL was formed in 2013 with a mandate to ensure security and adequacy in primary distribution of petroleum products in the country. The company was also meant to ensure that Botswana’s petroleum industry becomes a reliable and sustainable one. The company is also tasked with the responsibility to manage state owned fuel reserves and to ensure the smooth running of the petroleum sector. Addressing locals who may be willing to venture into the petroleum sector President Khama urged them not to hesitate but approach BOL in order to explore possibilities of partnership. He urged BOL to create a conducive platform for citizen emerging companies in order to help them do well in the sector as they have been struggling. He said there are so many areas that local companies can explore in order to penetrate the sector. “These include among others, supply of products, transportation, storage facilities and upstream activities,” he said. In conclusion the President said the government has set aside funds to build the biggest petroleum storage at Tshele hills which will see government doubling its current stock holding capacity once complete.
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