Power developments in Africa, April 2015

April 9th, 2015, Published in Articles: Energize

Clean energy for west Africa

American independent power producer New Generation Power International will this year break ground on the first 20 MW plant of a planned 200 MW of solar projects in civil war and Ebola-ravaged Sierra Leone. The company will work with the government of the west African country and a turnkey provider Nations Solar to work towards President Ernest Bai Koromas ambitious goal of installing 1 GW of clean energy generation by 2018. Under the terms of the agreement 200 MW of utility scale solar will be installed by 2018 as well as a 132 MW hydro plant, planned to be ready by 2018. www.utilityproducts.com

Egypt to get 5 GW of solar

Egypt’s government, which is turning to solar energy to bridge the country’s energy gap, has signed two separate agreements with two international consortiums for the construction of PV power plants across the country with a combined capacity of 5 GW. The first memorandum of understanding was signed with Canadian solar project developer SkyPower. The company aims to deploy 3 GW of PV capacity in Egypt over the next five years. A second agreement was signed with a consortium led by Terra Sola, a Swiss solar company, for the construction of several PV plants with a combined capacity of 2 GW in the country. www.sis.gov.eg

Solar power plant for Chad

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a US$780 000 grant for the development of a first phase 40 MW of a solar PV plant near N’Djamena in Chad as the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) scheme to be connected to the national grid. Specifically, the SEFA grant will finance the costs related to technical assistance for the completion of the plant design and grid study, as well as advisors for legal and financial structuring of a bankable IPP. The project will have significant effects in the country’s power sector and provide reliable power to address power shortages hampering economic growth. www.afdb.org

Private sector to address Comoros power deficit

The African Development Bank and the Comoros government have brought together development partners, representatives of power companies, and the private sector, to discuss the role the private sector can play in addressing the country’s power deficit, a major constraint to the country’s socio-economic development. Statistics indicate that about 80% of the country is in darkness, and production level is almost nonexistent. Users have access to electricity for just five hours every four days, while in the rural areas residents can go for a whole month without electricity. An energy masterplan will outline reforms, including privatisation and investments needed in the sector. www.afdb.org

Morocco issues RfP for 50 MW PV project

The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) has issued an RfP for the construction of a 50 MW PV plant in Morocco, according to French portal L’Usine Nouvelle. The project will be developed in Ourazazate, southern Morocco, where MASEN has already developed large-scale solar projects. In mid-February, MASEN confirmed the five sites that will be used for a 2 GW solar project being developed as part of Morocco’s national solar plan. One of the five sites is in Ouarzazate, while the other four are located near Midelt, Tata, El-Aaiún and Cape Bojador. The entire 2 GW Noor project is due to be completed by 2020. www.masen.ma

Electricity generation expands in Mozambique

Aggreko and Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), the state power utility, has successfully commissioned 11 MW of generation capacity in the port city of Nacala, northern Mozambique. This facility will be increased by 7 MW soon bringing the total capacity of the plant to 18 MW. With consistent annual GDP growth of more than 7% and a rapidly expanding industrial sector, power demands across Mozambique are increasing exponentially. In its role as the national power utility and system operator in Mozambique, EDM is working to bring high quality electricity throughout the country by increasing generation capacity and further developing transmission and distribution networks. www.aggreko.com

Renewable energy offers a solution to a land-locked country

Developing Swaziland’s vast renewable energy resources will provide substantial socio-economic benefits for its population, according the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The Swaziland Renewables Readiness Assessment estimates that bagasse, a by-product of the local sugar industry, could meet half of the country’s electricity demand while solar power could contribute substantially to the remaining demand. More than 76% of Swaziland’s current electricity supply comes from imports, predominantly from South Africa. Electricity import tariffs in Swaziland doubled between 2009 and 2012 The falling cost of renewable energy technologies makes renewable energy more cost competitive in Swaziland than ever before. Roughly 45% of Swaziland’s population does not have access to electricity. www.irena.org

Project to optimise Zambia’s electricity system

Zambia Electricity Supply Commission (ZESCO) has awarded Aurecon a contract to provide engineering, design and construction supervision services for the US$200-million World Bank funded Lusaka Transmission and Distribution Rehabilitation Project. Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, is regarded as the second fastest growing city in Africa. Its electricity demand has grown at 6% per annum over the previous ten years, with demand now outstripping the installed capacity of the power system supplying the city. Using experience gained on projects previously executed for ZESCO and the World Bank, the project team will identify remedial or preventative measures to optimise the project which is expected to be completed in 2019. www.aurecongroup.com

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