Two further financing deals have put the Mmamabula project in Botswana closer to financial closure, said CIC Energy’s Greg Kinross last week.

The project, which may supply electricity to South Africa, completed a private placement of $72 million, and brought total funds raised for August to $86.5 million.  These funds will be needed before financial close for engineering, procurement and construction management contracts.

According to Kinross, “We plan to reach a major milestone towards year-end, with the selection of the preferred engineering, procurement and construction contractor and the signing of a preliminary agreement with the contractor along with the payment of a deposit,”

The Mmamabula project consists of a power station and mine in Botswana.  Phase one plans of 2100MW and 2460MW are in place, and a second phase is currently under consideration.  Phase one will require between 7,5-million tons and 9-million tons of coal a year.  The total cost of phase one is estimated at $6.5 billion for the plant and associated mine infrastructure and commercial operations are expected to commence in 2012.