Power developments in Africa, Nov/Dec 2015

November 13th, 2015, Published in Articles: Energize


Substantial energy resource found in Ghana

Oil and gas explorer Erin Energy has estimated that the tenements that make up the expanded shallow water Tano (ESWT) block, in Ghana, would deliver about 500-million barrels of oil and 282-billion cubic feet of gas. The company recently completed resource volume assessments at three of its fields: Tano North, Tano West and Tano South. Fourteen wells were drilled and many of the wells were flow tested. From these tests, oil production rates ranged between 600 bbl/d and 2047 bbl/d. A maximum gas rate of about 13-million cubic feet a day was also established. www.erinenergy.com

Foreign aid for increased energy access in Africa

Power for All and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) have joined forces to advance the rapid uptake of distributed renewable energy in Africa to improve millions of lives. Grant Shapps, Britain’s international development minister, has announced new UK support to Power for All to advance policy and financial environments conducive to achieving universal energy access through off-grid energy solutions by 2025. Power for All will work to accelerate markets for distributed renewable energy in a dozen African countries involved in the Energy Africa campaign. www.powerforall.org

Nigeria receives help to bring gas home

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank, has announced its first engagement in Nigeria’s gas sector along with Seven Energy International, an independent Nigerian integrated oil and gas development, production and gas distribution company. The company’s processing facility and pipelines have already started delivering gas to three power stations and two manufacturing plants, which is expected to have a significant impact in a country suffering from a severe energy shortage due to the lack of infrastructure to bring gas to the domestic market. www.sevenenergy.com

Drought causes closure of hydropower plants

All hydropower plants in Tanzania are being switched off because a lack of rain has led to low water levels in the country’s dams. Hydro-electricity generation has fallen to 20% of capacity, making it difficult for the dams to operate. It is the first time the East African nation has closed all its hydro plants, which generate 35% of its electricity. The power crisis has been worsened by problems at new natural gas plants and by people farming upstream from the dams, as this reduces the flow of water. www.tanesco.co.tzv

Phase 1 of Africa’s largest CSP plant near completion

Morocco has planned a massive CSP project at the edge of the Sahara Desert which will be the largest solar scheme in Africa. The first phase of the Noor-Ourzazate Solar Complex, Noor 1, is due to reach completion before the end of 2015. It will generate up to 160 MW, with the entire complex generating upwards of 500 MW by the time it’s finished in 2020. The complex will cost $9-billion and could eventually export energy to Spain. It will also help with Morocco’s problematic reliance on imported fossil fuels. www.afdb.org

Solar energy kiosks for Madagascar

About 64% of Madagascar’s population live without reliable access to electricity. Kerosene lamps are used to provide light in remote areas, but they come with health risks and high prices. HERI Madagascar has set up solar energy kiosks in rural areas where lamps and other electrical devices can be recharged. The initial investment is high, but they are said to cut energy costs by up to 40%. Female entrepreneurs manage the kiosk business locally and get the revenues from the different charging, lighting and other offers available. www.beheri.com

Namibian gas to power project gets the go-ahead

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) is confident that the Kudu gas-to-power project will go ahead, despite doubts about the cost. Immanuel Mulunga, Namcor’s managing director, says the utility is aiming for upstream and downstream financial close in 2016. Norway’s BW Offshore has been selected as upstream technical partner and Italy’s Saipem has been selected for the subsea and pipelines element. Mulunga said discussions were progressing well, and Namcor expected to finalise contracts before the end of March 2016. www.namcor.com.na/kudu

Work to start at Botswana CTL plant

Funders of a $4,2-billion coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant in Botswana will start construction next year on the project, which aims to tap the country’s more than 200-billion t of coal resources to reduce reliance on petroleum product imports. The 20 000 bbl/d project will run over three phases from 2016 until 2020. Botswana imports all its liquid fuel to meet the country’s annual consumption of 1,2-billion litres. The plant will require 4,3-million t a year of coal, which it will source from the country’s only operating coal mine, Morupule. www.kumvest.com

Kenya bets on solar to bridge its power gap

The Kenyan government is banking on solar power plants to bridge the electricity supply gap as it races to meet its target of increasing generation capacity by 5000 MW by the end of next year. Joseph Njoroge, the country’s energy and petroleum principal secretary, said the energy ministry is currently evaluating numerous proposals from investors to set up solar plants around the country before they strike power-purchase deals with Kenya Power. The utility is trying to reduce the average price it pays for solar generated electricity from 15 US cents to 12. www.kplc.co.ke

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