Botala Energy, AAAS Energy join forces for solar PV project development in Botswana

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Amsterdam-based AAAS Energy BV (“AAAS”) and Botala Energy Ltd (ACN 626 751 620) have entered a Binding Heads of Agreement to develop 200-250 MW of Solar PV capacity at Botala’s Leupane Energy Hub and Industrial Park in Botswana. Under the agreement, AAAS will farm into 50% of the project with an investment of A$1,000,000. AAAS is responsible for all initial development capital to advance the project to a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS), with no funding commitment from Botala until A$1,000,000 is expended by AAAS. Subsequent contributions will be equally shared. The outcomes of the BFS are anticipated by the end of CY2024, with a decision on proceeding with the joint development agreement contingent on the review of the BFS by Botala.

The Leupane Energy Hub, strategically located near Palapye, Botswana, is set to be a key site for renewable and gas-fired power generation in the region. Initial plans, detailed in Botala’s IPO Prospectus dated May 16, 2022, highlight the development of up to 700 MW of hybrid gas and solar power generation capacity. The project aims to integrate solar power generation with the existing energy infrastructure, supported by studies from OCEF Engineering (Botswana) and Digisilent Buyisa (South Africa), confirming the site’s capability to handle substantial power loads without negative grid impacts.

Botala Energy and AAAS Energy Sign Solar Development Agreement

Botala Energy and AAAS Energy Sign Solar Development Agreement

This partnership marks a significant step toward realizing Botala’s vision of complementing its gas projects with renewable energy sources. Initially, the project Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be jointly owned by Botala and AAAS, with equity based on their respective contributions. This structure allows Botala to leverage AAAS’s solar development expertise without initial financial outlays, enhancing the project’s bankability and potential value. Any further development costs post-AAAS’s A$1 million investment are to be shared equally.

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The agreement also outlines future phases of development contingent on the successful completion of the BFS and a Final Investment Decision (FID). These include the potential expansion up to 500 MW of solar capacity and the development of related infrastructure like a solar panel manufacturing plant and LNG or CNG plants. This approach aims to enhance local job creation, skills development, and overall socio-economic growth in Botswana, aligning with both companies’ commitment to sustainable energy development.

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The partnership between Botala Energy Ltd and AAAS Energy BV could significantly shift the energy landscape in Southern Africa by integrating large-scale solar power with existing and new gas power facilities. By distributing project development risks and combining expertise, the project’s bankability and appeal to future investors could be notably enhanced. This strategic initiative not only bolsters Botala’s market position but also contributes positively to Botswana’s sustainable energy future and economic resilience.

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“We are excited to now be able to attract significant partners into our projects to take them from the conceptual phase and further develop them into potential operating assets. The strategic partnership with AAAS provides an attractive way to advance a significant opportunity at Botala’s Leupane Energy Hub and Industrial Park without incurring initial project development costs. We look forward to working closely with AAAS and leveraging their extensive experience in solar project development.”

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