Power developments in Africa, August 2018

Paving the way for more power generation

The African Development Bank is providing almost US$65-million for the 670 km long high voltage transmission line linking four 220 kV substations in rural Tanzania. The project forms part of the development bank’s “Light up and power Africa” initiative. The new transmission lines and substations pave the way for the country to increase its generating power capability by linking current and future electricity generating facilities. The country’s deputy minister of energy says that Tanzania aims to be generating 10 GW by 2015.


Working to expand electricity supply

Chad’s ability to achieve increased energy access and poverty reduction is constrained by significant challenges in the power sector. It currently only has about 125 MW of installed generation capacity to serve a population of 14,5-million people. As a result, Chad’s government is working to expand its electricity supply and encourage investment in the energy sector to stimulate the economy. Chad is endowed with the tenth-largest oil reserves in Africa, as well as wind and solar resource potential.


Electricity distribution privatised

The distribution of electricity in Ghana is to be privatised. Meralco, a private company, is set to take over the distribution of electricity in Ghana next year having recently being awarded the contract by the state-owned Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). Until now, ECG has been solely responsible for the distribution and sale of electricity in the country. Meralco will manage and operate the network and act as the country’s electricity reseller. It is reported that the company will invest about US$500-million in the distribution system.


Industrialisation programme underway

The African Development Bank is to make a US$20-million loan facility available to the government of Uganda. The package is intended to help Uganda achieve its Vision 2040 which aims to migrate the country from a low-income agriculture-dependent economy to a more prosperous middle-income industrialised nation. To this end, the money is intended for the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The bank’s loan is in line with its stated intention to assist in the industrialisation of Africa.


Government bond for sustainability

The Kenyan government is to launch a “Green Bond” to fund additional renewable energy-based electricity generating projects in the country. According to the country’s Treasury, the bond will also be used to fund waste management, water, transport and agriculture. This initiative is expected to increase corporate and international investments in renewable energy and other sustainable projects in the country. It is reported that the government hopes to raise an initial amount of US$50-million through the launch of this bond.


Another African nuclear MoU signed

The Ugandan ministry of energy has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)with the China National Nuclear Corporation which may result in the African country building a nuclear-fired electricity generation facility. This follows a similar MoU with Rosatom last year. The country has its own deposits of uranium, the energy ministry says, which the country desires to exploit for electricity generation. As many as eight locations have been identified as potential sites for construction of the proposed nuclear-fired power stations.


Largest West African wind farm

Senegal’s Taiba N’Diaye 158 MW wind farm has reached financial close. Built by Lekela Power, the utility scale wind project uses 46 Vestas 3,45 MW wind turbines. The wind farm operates under a 20-year power-producer agreement with the Senegalese government. The developers say this project will be the largest wind farm in West Africa and one of the most important privately financed wind farms in sub-Saharan Africa, outside South Africa, to reach financial close in 2018.


Island nation opts for solar

A senior representative from the Mauritian government’s ministry of energy laid the foundation stone at a 2 MW solar PV farm recently. The project, which began in April this year, is expected to started supplying electricity to the island-nation’s electricity grid by year-end. The project, which covers an area of 20 000 m2, comprises 5900 solar PV panels on ground-mounted frames. The solar farm includes the usual substation with inverters, transformers and switchgear for connecting to the local 22 kV transmission grid.


Transmission and distribution networks strengthened

Electricity transmission and distribution in The Gambia is set to be strengthened and expanded to support additional generation capacity. The country intends to commission a new 11 MW generator at the Kotu Power Station and a 6 MW generator at Brikama. The project is said to cost US$41-million. The World Bank says the project continues to make significant progress in its implementation and is progressing at an accelerated pace towards the achievement of its development objective.

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