Power developments in Africa, July 2016

July 14th, 2016, Published in Articles: Energize


Uganda oil and gas industry gets boost

Uganda has earmarked 188-billion shillings towards the implementation of its oil and gas plans in the 2016/17 financial year. In the budget that was read out in June by finance minister, Matia Kasaija, it was stated that the funds will be used to develop the country’s oil and gas resources, boost skills and institutions in the sector, and better-establish the National Oil Company (UNOC). UNOC will handle government’s commercial interests in oil and gas, including its 15% interest in the Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) with the licensed oil companies and the 40% share in the oil refinery.

Mauritius exploring wave energy

A wave monitoring device, aiming to explore the prospects of developing wave-and ocean-energy for Mauritius, was deployed in June 2016 during a launching ceremony held in Souillac. This initiative follows the collaborative agreement signed in June 2015 by the Mauritius Research Council (MRC) with Carnegie Wave Energy on the prospects of developing wave energy for Mauritius. The country has a total area of 2,3-million km2 of an exclusive economic zone and is geographically well positioned to harness ocean energy in various forms including offshore wind, ocean wave, current, thermal and saline energy.

Hydropower plant in Zimbabwe halfway complete

The Export-Import Bank of China, which signed a US$354-million loan agreement with Zimbabwe for the expansion of the Kariba South Hydropower Station, has so far released US$175-million to finance the project. The expansion project is expected to add 300 MW of electricity to the existing power generation capacity and is being undertaken by Chinese contractor, Sino Hydro Corporation. Overall construction work at the power plant, which commenced in November 2014, has reached almost 50%. The first unit is planned to be running in December 2017, with project completion expected in 2018.

Kenya received funding for new wind farm

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the French Development Agency (AFD) to boost renewable energy development. The MoU includes an underpinning funding of up to Ksh6,9-billion (€60-million) by the French government for the development of the 80 MW Meru wind project. The project includes all infrastructure on site such as roads, collector network, service area, control room; step-up substation within the perimeter of the wind farm (80 MVA, 32 kV), designed and constructed with provision to be upgraded to 220 kV for future wind farm stages.

Increased output from Botswana power plant

Power output from the Morupule Power Plant will be improved, according to the Botswana government. The current capacity of 300 MW will be increased to 600 MW by 2020 by adding two new plants with a capacity to produce 300 MW each. According to Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MEWR) minister Kitso Mokaila production at the plant, which has been operating at half-capacity since being commissioned in 2012, would be increased with the help of independent power producers. Upgrades to units 5 to 8 are ongoing and will add up to 820 MW of power to the national grid from coal and solar-powered plants.

Electrification for Windhoek’s informal settlements

The City of Windhoek plans to spend over N$70-million on the electrification of informal settlements. Windhoek’s informal settlement of Otjomuise 6 and 7, Okahandja Park, Ongulumbashe and Babylon are some of the settlements due to be electrified. The first and second phases – planned to commence in July – involve the electrification of the area by installing electrical equipment and cables along all residential streets. The third and final phase, which is yet to come, involves connection of electrical supply to individual housing units. The entire electrification project is due to be completed by the end of 2016.

Mega project in Ethiopia

Salini Impregilo continues to be a partner in Ethiopia’s development and has been awarded the contract to build a new hydroelectric plant on the Omo River in the Koysha area. The new megaproject is worth €2,5-billion and will have an installed capacity of 2200 MW. The project includes a 170 m high rolled compacted concrete (RCC) dam with a reservoir volume of 6-billion m3. The hydroelectric plant will annually produce 6460 GWh. This new important project will enable Ethiopia to become a leader in terms of energy production in Africa.

First large BIOPV project in Africa

Heliatek has implemented, with its partner Kandil Steel, its first building integrated organic photovoltaic (BIOPV) pilot project in Africa. HeliaFilm, the company’s organic solar film, is at the core of this installation in Egypt, which represents a first test project for further steel applications. The steel company is working on new solutions for distributed energy generation because of rising energy prices and declining government subsidies. The company plans to establish the combination of its steel panels with HeliaFilm as a new product for the BIOPV market.

Merger to bring power to Africa

Harith General Partners (Harith) and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) have merged to create a new energy entity combining both renewable and non-renewable power in Africa. This partnership aims to provide integrated management of power infrastructure assets to deliver the requisite
base-load generation capacity to drive and accelerate growth in African economies. The joint venture’s near-term portfolio supplies reliable energy to over 30-million people in at least ten African countries and has a combined gross operational and under-construction capacity of 1575 MW.


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