Power developments in Africa, April 2019

Accelerating private sector development

The African Development Bank and the governments of Mozambique and Portugal have signed a Mozambique-specific Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of a financing platform, involving the Bank, Portugal, Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe, called the Lusophone Compact. The Compact will provide risk mitigation, investment products and technical assistance to accelerate private sector development in sectors which cover renewable energies, agribusiness and agricultural value chains, water and sanitation, infrastructures, tourism and ICT.

Risk insurance for solar energy

South Sudan has received a record $27,62-million in commercial risk insurance cover through the efforts of the South Sudan government, the African Development Bank and the Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATI). About $5-million has been ring-fenced for solar energy at rural clinics and police stations. ATI provides risk cover to facilitate investments in the electricity, gas, water supply and financial and insurance sectors. $60-million will be in hard currency and $40-million for spare parts, food, pharmaceuticals and refined products.

Energy minister to join AEF2019

Aziz Rabbah, Morocco’s minister of energy, has a vision to collaborate with other African nations on large-scale energy projects. Rabbah will be taking part in the Country Spotlight session “From Morocco to Africa” at the event. He will address how the Moroccan government aims to forge deeper ties to support large scale solar solutions across the continent, engaging both public and private sector at the various levels of project preparation.

Banks partner to implement electricity regulatory index

The African Development Bank and KfW Development Bank will be partnering to accelerate implementation of recommendations contained in the 2018 Electricity Regulators Index (ERI) report for Côte d’Ivoire’s energy sector. Launched in June 2018 during the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in Mauritius, the ERI is a diagnostic tool that highlights key areas in regulatory design and practice in Africa’s energy sector. The 2018 ERI identified 13 key regulatory gaps across the 15 ERI participating countries, including Côte d’Ivoire.

Auto-reclosers improve reliability in NigeriaEnergi

Noja Power recently supplied Nigeria’s electricity utility, Ikeja Electric, with its OSM reclosers for a pilot on the country’s 33 kV distribution network. According to the utility’s spokesman, the radial nature of feeders in its network makes it difficult to identify fault locations. The installation of pole-mounted auto-reclosers on a 17 km, 33 kV line carrying 9 MW of load, has reduced outage times from 16 hours to under a minute, dramatically improving the network’s performance, he said.

Somalia to receive €1-million from Italy

The Italian government will provide €1-million to the Multi-Partner Somalia Infrastructure Fund. The fund is one of the financing windows under the Somalia Development and Reconstruction Facility of the New Deal Compact for Somalia which aims to accelerate Somalia’s economic recovery, peace and state building, through rehabilitation and development of the country’s infrastructure. This is expected to enable economic growth through investment and job opportunities.

More solar power for Ghana

Redavia has been selected to build a 756 kW solar farm at a natural mneral water production facility in Ghana’s eastern region. The deal provides immediate savings for both the bottling company and the environment, since solar power creates no CO2 emissions. The mineral water is drawn from the water table 60 m below ground level and contains no additives, the company says. The company will own the solar power plant at the end of the contract, its CEO said.

Solar powers Senegal

The Senegalese government and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation have agreed to fund solar projects with combined installed capacity of 60 MW. The projects are to be built by Engie in the Kaolack and Touba regions of the country. Half of Senegal’s population has no access to electricity, and this project is expected to provide electricity to at least some of them. This long-term private-public partnership will be the first independent power producing project in the country, the company’s representative said.

Financing for off-grid and mini-grid connectivity in Africa

Energy industry stakeholders have called for a restructuring of the financing mechanisms enabling the development of off-grid and mini-grid connectivity in Africa. The African Development Bank finances the off-grid and mini-grid sector through its sponsorship and anchor investment in the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), a $500-million debt financing facility targeting small scale renewable energy projects. Despite Africa’s significant energy resources endowments, close to 600-million people on the continent are still without access to electricity.

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