Power developments in Africa, March 2016

February 25th, 2016, Published in Articles: Energize

First phase of CSP plant inaugurated 

King Mohammed VI of Morocco inaugurated the first phase of the country’s Noor Ouarzazate (NOORo) Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant, ushering in a new era for Africa’s sustainable energy future. The plant is a keystone of Morocco’s solar programme to develop 2 GW by 2020. The plant exponentially harnesses the country’s solar power, achieving over 500 MW installed capacity and increasing on-grid access to more than a million households by 2018. The plant in Ouarzazate will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region by 19-million t over 25 years, keeping the region in line with its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change. The project will contribute to industrial development and help create around 2500 jobs. www.afdb.org

Wind farm to add 60 MW to grid

The Kinangop Wind Park missed its final close and commissioning date due to local residents not willing to relocate. The wind farm in Kenya will add to sub-Saharan Africa’s growing wind energy capacity, which is being driven by solid economic growth and an increasing population. Aurecon was appointed as owner’s engineer by the project company, for the construction phase of the 60,8 MW wind farm in Kenya’s Kinangop region. The wind farm will be built by Iberdrola Engineering, with General Electric to provide 38 x 1,6 MW wind turbines. Kinangop is significant as the first major IPP wind farm in Kenya, which will generate enough energy to power 150 000 homes. www.aurecongroup.com

Mini-grids promoted with SEFA grant

Rwanda was awarded a US$840 000 grant to promote green mini-grids (GMGs) and pave the way for private investments in this sub-sector. The project is expected to support government efforts to provide electricity connection to at least 145 000 rural households and improve off-grid access rate from 5% to 22% by 2018. Green mini-grids are village or district-level electrical distribution networks that serve the needs of communities too distant to be economically connected to the grid, but densely populated enough to offer economies of scale in power delivery compared with individual home systems. The project includes mini-grid feasibility studies for up to 20 small hydroelectric sites and a corresponding roll-out plan targeting local private developers.  www.afdb.org

Kribi power plant to be extended

The Kribi Power Plant has secured funding of €24-million for the expansion of the existing natural gas plant in Cameroon, which has been operating since May 2013. The expansion (Kribi II) consists of the development, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a 125 MW gas-fired power plant extension. Upon completion, Kribi Power Plant’s aggregate capacity will be 340 MW. The current generation deficit has been assessed to be 100 MW during the dry season with a projected increase in demand of 8% a year until 2035. It will also diversify Cameroon’s energy production sources and energy mix through gas generation expansion while displacing inefficient thermal power plants thereby reducing environmental impact, including carbon emissions. www.ifcextapps.ifc.org

Sierra Leone gets funding for 50 MW power plant

Sierra Leone received a loan of $20-million from AfDB to fund the construction and operation of a 50 MW Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), interconnection facilities and a fuel pipeline in Kissy, 4 km east of Freetown. This project provides an opportunity for Sierra Leone to address its energy deficit using an IPP solution to allow for affordable prices. It will be implemented by both Tempus Constant Qualitas Power  (TCQ) and CEC Africa Investment Limited (CECA). In a country with over 50% supply deficit of electricity generation capacity and only 10% of the population have access to electricity supply. The new power plant is planned to add 60% generation capacity to the grid and create opportunities for private sector investment. Once completed, the plant will serve as the largest base load plant in Sierra Leone. www.afdb.org

First IPP-built power plant reaches commercial operation phase

Zambia’s first power plant built under a public-private partnership has entered into commercial operation. The synchronisation of both 60 MW units of the 120 MW Itezhi Tezhi hydropower project on the Kafue River was completed in January, India’s Tata Power announced on 4 February. The project was built and will be operated by Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation, a joint venture between Tata Power and state utility Zesco, under a 25-year build-own-operate-transfer concession. www.africa-energy.com

Work begins on new hydropower plant

Sinohydro will start construction of the 147 MW Adjarala storage hydropower project on the Mono River in Benin soon. The Chinese state-owned hydropower engineering group announced on 27 January that the project would take four years to build and would entail the construction of a 3700 metre-long earth and rockfill dam, with an average height of nearly 40 m, as well as a powerhouse with three 49 MW units, and connecting transmission lines. Sinohydro said that financing for the $550-million project would be covered by a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China. www.africa-energy.com

Egypt to build 1800 MW power plant

The European Investment Bank has approved a $600-million loan towards the construction of a power plant in Egypt to help the country secure a sufficient, reliable and affordable energy supply. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development have already helped finance the $1,3-billion project, which will cater for increasing demand and assist Egypt to avert an energy crisis. The 1800 MW plant, which will be constructed by West Delta Electricity Production Company, will be located north-west of Cairo and increase efficiency and capacity while alleviating shortages. It is claimed that the Damanhour plant will be the most energy- and water-efficient plant in the country, reducing the energy generation sector’s carbon footprint by 1,5-million CO2 annually. www.publicfinanceinternational.org

Combined cycle power plant for Côte d’Ivoire

Endeavor Energy has received local environmental approvals and secured a site for the development of the 375 MW combined cycle power generation project in Côte d’Ivoire. In May last year, the company partnered with Starenergie to develop the multi-phase Songon gas-to-power project. Endeavor and its partners have entered into talks with the government of Cote d’Ivoire on the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the project. The power plant will have an integrated fuel solution featuring a purpose-built LNG import infrastructure and a floating storage and regasification unit. A request for proposals to supply engineering, procurement and construction for the project will be issued before the end of the first quarter of this year. www.power-technology.com

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