TRADE union-controlled conglomerate Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) may have lost earnings power from its core casino and media engines, but the group is making a concerted effort to boost energy levels despite unbundling US-based waste-to-gas producer Montauk last year.

HCI’s annual report shows a new investment in Karoshoek Solar One — a concentrated solar energy plant at Upington that is set to produce 100MW of base-load electricity from late 2018. This follows a fairly recent investment in Impact Oil and Gas, an off-shore oil exploration specialist. Impact is carrying out seismic studies in deep-sea reserves around the African coast.

HCI has also complemented its existing coal-mining interests in a joint venture with a company controlled by Jayendra Naidoo to take an option on a 74% stake in the Mmamabula Colliery. HCI has invested a “relatively small amount” to secure the opportunity.

What makes this option interesting is that the colliery has long been the subject of a discussion between the South African and Botswana governments over building a privately owned coal-fired power station to supply SA with electricity. Should the power station become a reality, Mmamabula could be a game changer for HCI’s fledgling coal interests — perhaps providing the trigger to separately list these operations on the JSE.

Source: BDLive