Australian listed African Energy Resources has signed a power supply memorandum of understanding with the Zambian national electricity utility (Zesco). The non-binding agreement will see the parties explore the potential for the delivery of 300 MW of base-load electrical power from African Energy Resources’s Sese coal and power project into Zesco’s grid, 500 kilometres to the north of Sese.

AFR will undertake a desktop study to evaluate preferred options for the transmission and integration of 300 MW of power supply from Sese into southern Zambia. Preliminary studies have confirmed that there are no material flaws in the transmission options under evaluation. Zesco will provide access to its technical capability and information to assist with the study, and corporate advisory group Maysen and Borowski will assist African Energy and Zesco.

Meanwhile African Energy’s coal operations in Botswana stand to benefit from two major rail projects being developed, one designed to transport coal into South Africa for state-electricity generator Eskom. The Transnet Freight Rail 105 km heavy-haul coal rail link between Botswana and South Africa will commence construction next year as part of a R300 billion infrastructure investment program. The line will be designed to carry 40-80 million tonnes a year to support the expected volumes from Botswana and the Waterberg coalfield in South Africa.

In addition, a bilateral agreement between Namibia and Botswana was signed this year for the construction of the 1,500km trans-Kalahari Railway. As part of this development, the Walvis Bay commodity terminal would be built to accommodate 65 million tonnes of coal annually.

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