Jindal wins Botswana’s 300 MW coal-fired power plant project


The energy ministry of Botswana has declared India’s leading steel, mining, and infrastructure player, Jindal Steel, and Power (JSPL) as the preferred bidder in a tender to build a 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant. Jindal was among the companies to bid for the only fossil fuel-based power plant that the Southern African’s landlocked country is planning to procure in the next two decades.

Initially, four companies were competing for the 300 megawatts (MW) coal-fired power plant contract, however, one of them backed out – leaving Jindal, African Energy Resources and Minergy in the race.

The energy ministry notice said, the contract (is) for the design, finance, construction, ownership, operation, maintenance and decommissioning at the end of its economic life … of a 300MW net greenfield coal-fired power plant in Botswana as an Independent Power Producer,” reported by Reuters.

Under the project, Jindal will be financing the plant and recouping its investments from selling electricity to the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) under the terms to be negotiated between the two parties.

Although Jindal Botswana country head Neeraj Saxena did not respond to Reuters query on the latest development, in November 2021, the company had told the news agency that they would start building a coal mine in south-eastern Mmamabula coalfields in 2022 — aiming to supply the export market and the planned coal power plant.

In Botswana, currently, state-owned Morupule Coal Mine and Minergy’s Masama are the only operating coal mines. The country has more than 200 billion tonnes of coal resources. Despite recent pressure on coal due to climate change, Botswana is pressing ahead with monetising its coal for economic development.

Earlier, on November 10, JSPL announced a consolidated net profit of 219.27 crore in Q2FY23 declining by a whopping 91.51% yoy. Consolidated revenue from operations dipped less than a percent to 13,521.4 crore in Q2FY23 compared to 13,611.71 crore in Q2FY22. EBITDA came in at 1,519 crore in Q2FY23 down from 4,587 crore in Q2FY22 and 2,952 crore in Q1FY23.

Further, in Q2FY23, JSPL’s steel production dipped to 1.82 million tonnes compared to 1.93 million tonnes in Q2FY22, while sales came in at 2.01 million tonnes in Q2FY23 versus 2.13 million tonnes in Q2FY22.

In the second quarter, JSPL’s consolidated net debt was further reduced to 7,054 crore on the back of these repayments as well as working capital release. Net Debt to EBITDA (LTM) as of September 30, 2022, is 0.62x.

On Monday, JSPL shares closed at 516.15 apiece marginally down on BSE compared to the previous closing. The company’s market cap is around 52,651.85 crore.

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