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Botswana grants Tlou Energy licence for coal-bed methane project

GABORONE, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Botswana has granted Tlou Energy a mining licence for its Lesedi coal-bed methane (CBM) project, the company’s managing director said on Monday, paving way for what would be the southern African nation’s first gas-to-power plant.

“The awarding of the mining licence by the ministry is a major milestone for the company, further derisks the project, and is an important prerequisite to developing the first commercial gas-to-power project in the country,” Tlou Managing Director Tony Gilby said in a statement.

Coal-bed methane is a form of natural gas trapped in underground coal seams.

Tlou said it had received a request for proposal from the Botswana government to provide up to 100 megawatts (MW) of CBM power from its Lesedi project.

Botswana currently has two coal-fired power plants with a capacity to produce up to 720 MW and plans to add another 500MW in the next three years through coal, gas and solar power. (Writing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo)