Botswana Oil (BOL), a company wholly owned by the government is expected to take over operations of the Francistown fuel depot.
This follows the take over of the Gaborone depot in 2017 in line with their mandate which is to manage government’s strategic fuel reserves facilities.
The Francistown depot has been under the management of Vivo Energy, on behalf of government for quite sometime.
Speaking at a gathering in Thapama on Tuesday to introduce BOL staff to stakeholders and neighbours in Francistown, General Manager-Operations Mosetho Kenamile, said it was important that they know each other.
Kenamile said it was crucial as BOL to share their expectations of business neighbours as well as get valuable feedback on the expectations of stakeholders at Dumela.
The GM-Operations said they are concerned with congestion that has characterized Dumela Industrial, particularly Mmadinare Road which has become narrower due to business activity which has expanded towards the depot.
He said the Francistown depot commissioned in the early 80s followed world practice which dictates that depots should be constructed outside built-up areas.
Kenamile told the gathering at Thapama Hotel that it is best practice to have open and clear spaces around their infrastructure.
He said this, amongst other things, facilitates access and exit for emergency response services in cases of incidents.
“Currently, Mmadinare Road is wanting on some of these requirements. There is an increase in bulk vehicle traffic volumes along this road, and the fact that the road is the only access into this area compounds the problem,” Kenamile said.
He however assured neighbours and stakeholders that BOL’s long-term solution to this problem is at an advanced stage.
He said they have acquired land across from the depot where they will construct a Truck Staging Centre which will provide parking for tankers as they wait their turn to load and offload.
Kenamile further requested those responsible for roads infrastructure to add a few more kilometres to loop Mmadinare Road back to the A1 Highway on the northern side. “This way, the congestion on this road will be significantly minimized and in case of an incident, will facilitate the easy evacuation of people,” said Kenamile.
For her part HSSE Manager Phatsimo Moeti-Joel said Botswana Oil adheres to international safety and security standards.
She said they take all the precautionary measures and observe the latest trends in the industry.
Joel said it is of utmost importance for stakeholders, neighbours and individuals to be vigilant at all times and observe warning signs and protocol in cases of emergency.