Power developments in Africa, July 2015

July 14th, 2015, Published in Articles: Energize


Energy developments diversify economy

Botswana Oil (BOL) has called for expressions of interest (EoI) for an in-house technical adviser to assist in the development of the landlocked country’s oil and gas sector. Through the EoI, the State-owned company sought information on the preparedness of the coal-to-liquids market in Botswana to inform the process of developing a polygeneration plant in the country. The project was aimed at further diversifying the diamond-centred economy and ensuring fuel self-sufficiency through the country’s coal resource. The EoI further sought the appointment of an in-house technical adviser to work with Botswana’s Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources and BOL for two years. www.gov.bw

Energy demand met by renewables

Developing Djibouti’s significant renewable energy resources will allow the country to reach its goal of sourcing 100% of its energy from renewables by 2020, according to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report finds that the transition would be sourced mainly from geothermal, wind, and solar resources, as well as strengthening the existing interconnection with the Ethiopian grid, which currently delivers 65% of Djibouti’s electricity needs. Roughly 55% of the population of Djibouti does not currently have access to electricity. The country also remains heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels and power, which exposes it to fluctuating oil prices, blackouts and other service disruptions. www.irena.org

Natural gas power in Cameroon

In Central Africa, global power service provider Altaaqa Global has successfully installed and commissioned two temporary natural gas power plants in Logbaba and Ndokoti (Bassa) within 21 days. With a joint capacity of 50 MW, the power plants were recently inaugurated at the Logbaba power plant site in Douala, Cameroon. Altaaqa Global installed modern gas engine generators at both sites to ensure that the power plants operate efficiently whilst reducing the amount of emissions released.As the generators run on natural gas, they do not require expensive after-treatments and are, therefore, more economical to operate owing to more cost-effective fuel prices. www.altaaqaglobal.com

Tanzania to boost energy sector

Tanzania has signed a $70,5-million loan with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance reforms in the east African nation’s energy sector. AfDB is among a group of donors which withheld nearly $500-million in budget support from Tanzania last year over corruption allegations in the energy sector. The aid delay affected the execution of the government’s budget for the current fiscal year 2014/2015, which ends on 30 June, and weakened the local currency. The aim is for the bank’s support to enable the government to boost efforts in the energy sector and other related public financial management reforms. www.afdb.org

Egypt signs exploration deal

Egypt’s oil ministry signed an energy exploration deal with Italy’s Eni worth $2-billion recently. The deal paves the way for the modification of some previous deals between the ministry and Eni which include gas price adjustments. The Italian company will invest $1,5-billion over four years in exploration, development and operation in Sinai and the Delta. A further $360-million will be invested in digging five new wells in northern Port Said; $80-million on digging a well in Sinai and repairing an existing one; and $40-million in the Gulf of Suez. www.eni.com

Solar energy usage in Uganda

Solar energy usage in Uganda has gained momentum as residents of Mityana, Mubende and Gulu embrace the new technology. According to the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), Uganda’s energy development programme will convey 30 MW of new solar power supply into the national grid by end of this year. Off grid lighting is now embraced among households across Uganda, an initiative from Greenlight Planet. These lights burn a record 30 hours straight and include a five year lithium-ferro phosphate battery. Over 2000 households are using solar energy in Mityana. www.greenlightplanet.com

Celebrity opens solar academy

At the United Nations’ second Sustainable Energy For All Forum famed singer, Akon, announced the launch of the Akon Lighting Africa initiative which hopes to provide sustainable electricity for the 600-million Africans who currently live without it. As a part of the initiative, Akon plans to open a solar academy in Mali which will be target future African entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians. It aims to reinforce expertise in every aspect of installing and maintaining solar-powered electric systems and micro-grids in particular, which are taking off in rural Africa. www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

Electricity to be more accessible

President Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed that his government intends to have 70% of the country connected to the national power grid by 2017. This will transform the lives of over 2,3-million Kenyans and catalyse economic development in all sectors. President Kenyatta also announced the cutting of electricity fees from the current Sh35 000 down to Sh15 000 for Kenyans who wish to apply for electricity connection. Kenyatta said that Kenya Power has been asked to allow those who cannot pay at once to be connected and then pay the tariff in instalments through their bills. www.kplc.co.ke

Senegal signs deal for LNG

Senegal power utility Senelechas signed a preliminary agreement with Qatar’s Nebras Power and Japanese firm Mitsui to build a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal and a 400 MW power station recently. Senegal, which generates much of its power by burning expensive fuel oil, has been hit hard by high fuel prices in recent years. The country hopes to reduce energy costs by introducing LNG into its energy mix. According to Senelec, the objective of the Senegalese government is to boost the country’s growth by a steady power supply at a competitive cost. www.senelec.sn

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