Power developments in Africa

November 26th, 2013, Published in Articles: Energize

Cameroon hydro project

Cameroon has appointed Joule Africa to develop a new hydropower project on the Katsina Ala river in the north-west region of the country. Joule Africa will work with the Cameroon government and Lahmeyer International to do a full feasibility and bankability study. The pre-feasibility assessments indicated that the full cascade has the potential to achieve installed capacity of up to 850 MW with a planned first stage in excess of 450 MW, which at full capacity would represent an increase of more than 40% in the present national installed capacity. The company, which has made a commitment to social development in the areas in which it works, has visited the site frequently. www.jouleafrica.com

100 MW Tanzanian wind farm

Aldwych International, Six Telecoms and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) are developing a 100 MW wind farm in Singida, Tanzania, which seeks to be the country’s first successful, independent wind energy power project. Of the total estimated cost, $285-million, the group will contribute $71-million. Located 700 km from Dar es Salaam, the farm will use wind turbines to help diversify Tanzania’s dependence on hydropower. When drought reduces the hydropower supply, Tanzania currently turns to costly emergency power. The farm will be owned by Wind East Africa and operated by a management company led by Aldwych and Six Telecoms. 


Djibouti-Ethiopia interconnection

Ethiopia and Djibouti have concluded a $2-billion electric power interconnection agreement. The agreement was signed recently at the Addis Ababa Hilton during the 12th Joint Ministerial Meeting. The agreement is the second of its kind signed between the two countries. The Ethiopian foreign minister Tedros Adhanom and his Djiboutian counterpart signed the agreement. The 230 kV transmission line project stretching from Ethiopia’s Afar region to Jaba in Djibouti would enable Ethiopia to export up to 75 MW of electricity to Djibouti. The project is expected to be jointly financed by the two countries. www.djpl.org

Copperbelt invests in Sierra Leone

CEC Africa Investments (CECA), a subsidiary of Copperbelt Energy Corporation, has agreed with TCQ Power of Beirut to acquire majority equity holding in Blue Flare Power (BFP) of Sierra Leone, which will be renamed CEC Africa (SL). The agreement, which has been recognised by the government of Sierra Leone, will entail CEC Africa developing power infrastructure in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown. CEC Africa MD Michael Tarney said it was committed to supporting the government of Sierra Leone in building capacity in the power sector. BFP has contracted to develop up to 128 MW of thermal generation capacity, coupled with investment into related power infrastructure. The $300-million project will be implemented in phases. www.cec.aiclinux-head.com

Nigeria power sector restructure

As a part of Nigeria’s bid to revitalise its unpopular electricity supply sector, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has been split into smaller units and sold by auction. The Mainstream Energy Solutions group bought Kainji Power, one of the six generation companies established to sell off PHCN’s hydroelectric plants. The company has two such plants generating 1338 MW – Kainji and Jebba located in the Kainji and Jebba regions of northern Nigeria, within the confluence of the Niger river. They currently generate about 25% of the electricity supplied to the Nigerian national grid. After decades of complaints by Nigerians about the country’s “epileptic” power supply, observers are hopeful that things will finally improve. www.phcnonline.com

Kenya ends distribution monopoly

Electricity distribution in Kenya will soon be liberalised after parliament voted to end the monopoly which has been enjoyed by Kenya Power for over 50 years. The MPs said the move would encourage competition, improve efficiency and reduce the high cost of power. As East Africa’s largest economy, Kenya remains a minor electricity supplier with a low penetration level of about 15%. Kenya Power, as a strategic national agency, was said to be grossly inefficient in its operations. MPs said the 85% per cent of the country’s population that did not have access to electricity only had a 3% annual growth rate, and power outages and surges had become a daily norm, especially during long rains. www.parliament.go.ke

Rwanda hydro project

The World Bank has approved $340-million for a hydroelectric project that aims to benefit 62-million people in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania – part of a Great Lakes regional initiative. The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project has a total cost of $468-million and an eventual 80 MW generation capacity for the countries of the Nile Equatorial Lakes (NEL) sub-region in east Africa. “The Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project takes a regional approach to tackling sub-Saharan Africa’s power crisis, providing low-cost, clean, renewable energy to people in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania,” says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region. www.afdb.org

Rwanda orders 8,5 MW solar plant

The government of Rwanda has signed a power purchase agreement with GigaWatt Global Rwanda to develop a grid-scale solar electric generating plant, the first of its kind in east Africa. In terms of the agreement, GigaWatt Global will design, finance, maintain and operate the 8,5 MW solar electric generating plant at Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwamagana District. The estimated value of the project is $23-million. The agreement outlines the main roles and responsibilities of both the investor and government of Rwanda with respect to the energy project. A feasibility study has already been completed and the plant is expected to be operational in June 2014. www.gov.rw

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