Botswana will focus on extracting natural gas from coal bed methane (CBM) reserves to achieve the country’s clean energy objectives, Oil Review Africa reported.

Tlou Energy’s CEO and Managing Director, Anthony Gilby, said during his speech in the Africa Independents Forum in London in late May that Botswana has a “very attractive power market”, as informed on African Review.

He noted that the country has independently certified gas reserves in place and the first gas-to-power plant could be online potentially by 2019. He said that he expects drilling to commence in the second half of 2018.

“This will replace expensive power, including imports and diesel generation,” said Gilby. Tlou Energy has 100% ownership of Lasedi, an 8,300km² license area in which drilling for coal bed methane (CBM) at depths between 400m and 1,000m have taken place. Fracking is not required to release the gas, according to Gilby.

“[Extracting CBM for gas-to-power] will help diversify the economy away from diamonds. It is a reliable source of clean energy,” he added.

Tlou retains the right to hold up to 50% of power generation assets.