Panaji, India - Botswana is likely to export 115 million tonnes of thermal coal in the next seven years and will soon look to private companies to build a rail line to a port in neighbouring Namibia, a senior official at a mining body said.
Landlocked Botswana, which has the second-biggest coal resource in the continent after South Africa, plans to export as much as 40 million tonnes of coal in three to four years, Charles Siwawa, chief executive of Botswana Chamber of Mines, said.
“We will soon be issuing expressions of interest for the railway line,” Siwawa said on the sidelines of the Coaltrans India conference in the western tourist state of Goa on Tuesday.
The proposed 1,500 kilometre railway line to Walvis Bay in Namibia would need $11 billion in investment, Siwawa said.
Siwawa said he expected an additional $4 billion investment to enhance the port infrastructure at Walvis Bay. Both the rail and port projects will be by means of public-private partnerships.
Botswana has total coal reserves of 200 billion tonnes, mainly steam coal, Siwawa said. - Reuters