New corporate strategy targets global coal markets
Within the next five years, Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) hopes to be producing three times as much coal as it sets out on an ambitious drive to triple its yearly revenue from P1 billion to P3 billion.
Officially launched in Palapye last Friday, if everything goes to plan, the new 2022/27 corporate strategy will see Morupule increase their annual output from 2.8 million tons to 7.6 million tons of coal by 2027.
Such numbers would position the mine as one of the biggest coal suppliers in Africa, at a time when Europe and Asia are scrambling for alternative sources of fuel in the wake of the global energy crisis.
Botswana took a proactive decision to become a key coal producer with the official commissioning of the 1.4 million ton-per-year Motheo coal mine in September.
The country has already increased sea-borne exports through Maputo and Walvis Bay.
Speaking at the strategy launch, MCM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Edwin Elias insisted such early progress stands the mine in good stead as it seeks to ‘sail through this new and uncharted path’.
“We have already started with the delivery of over 60, 000 tons out of the 170, 000 tons of coal destined for the seaborne market through the Maputo port, as we march to meet our 2022/2027 coal tonnage output,” declared Elias.
The CEO said they will pull out all the stops to ensure this new strategy is fully-resourced and capable of meeting their targets, ultimately driving the mine to much greater heights.
He admitted they are well aware they have set bold and ambitious goals for themselves; nonetheless they remain confident the dream will be achieved.
“I can assure you here today that our road to 2027 has started and no ‘roadblock’ or ‘pothole’ will be allowed to slow down our journey. We are focused; we are resolute; and we are committed to delivering on our promise,” declared the CEO to a rousing applause.
His sentiments were shared by the MCM Board Chairman, Dr. Bonny Matshediso, who said their new direction is fully focused on transforming the mine into a ‘multi-product, globally competitive, low-cost producer of high-quality coal products with the agility to service diverse markets and customers’.
“We intend to ramp our production to 7.6 million tons of coal per annum by 2027 and in the process hoping to return over 3 billion BWP worth of revenues to the shareholder,” he reiterated, adding their first task is to establish MCM as a global partner of choice in the coal mining transition by re-calibrating and making the necessary adjustments to consolidate their appeal.
Matshediso said they are targeting the global market, and, together with partners such as Botswana Oil and Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), will intensify their research to come up with environmentally-friendly and value additive innovations to make extensive use of the mine’s massive coal reserves, which he estimated run into the billions.
The Board Chairman further revealed that the new strategy also allows them identify and develop partnerships and alliances that can help them to build distribution and integrated channels for logistics and market access.
He described being a landlocked country as ‘a bottleneck’ that has hindered their fluent play in the international markets.
“The logistics of getting our coal to the international markets have always been compromised, making it quite an expensive undertaking much to the detriment our business efficiency,” Matshediso said.
Established in 1973 under the name Morupule Colliery, the mine’s primary mandate was to service the BCL power plant and the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).
Its core business was power generation, before they began servicing external coal markets in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.