Power developments in Africa, August 2019

Two new energy projects on the cards

News from Mozambique is that the country’s Council of Ministers has approved two new projects for the country’s energy sector: A 2000 MW gas-fired plant to be built at the Beluluane Industrial Park; and a storage, regasification and export terminal for Liquified Natural Gas at the Matola port. The two projects, to be built within the next five years, have been valued at US$2,8-billion and are expected to create 1700 new jobs during construction, with more than 1000 permanent positions thereafter.

Two new solar projects reach financial close

Proparco, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have agreed to grant loans totalling €38-million for the construction and operation of two solar power plants with a combined generating capacity of 60 MW in Senegal. These two projects, to be built in Kahone and Kael, will provide reliable, clean electricity at a cost of about US$0,05/kWh – one of the lowest electricity tariffs in West Africa. The plants are expected to reduce 89 kt of CO2e emissions per year.

Bank grant to enable IPP procurement process

The African Development Bank has approved a US$995 000 grant to support the rollout of a sustainable procurement framework for independent power producers in Ethiopia. The grant will encourage private investments into hydropower projects through the country’s renewable energy programme. It will also strengthen the government’s ability to undertake bankability and technical studies, and feasibility assessments, as well to assess the environmental and social impact such large hydropower projects make. The grant will also enable the country to decide resettlement actions where needed.

Investors sought for new energy projects

The Senegalese government is putting energy projects at the centre of its plan for the future of the country. Dubbed “Emerging Senegal”, the plan focuses on regionalisation and industrial growth underpinned by gas realisation, wind and solar projects and energy trade with neighbouring countries. To achieve these objectives, the government is promoting a robust and pioneering economic programme and seeks investments for long term partnerships from major companies in the energy sector. These investments will bring innovation and best practices to the country.

Financing economic growth

The African Development Bank has approved a US$8-million financing package to Kenya’s Credit Bank for lending exclusively to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country’s construction, agriculture, renewable energy and manufacturing sectors. The purpose of the loan is to stimulate the growth of SMEs through financing and capacity-building initiatives. By providing the finance, it aims to improve the productivity of these SMEs, and thereby enhance entrepreneurship, job creation, income generation and sustainable growth in the region.

Mini-grids to help improve energy supply

IBC Solar is supporting three German universities which are creating a pilot project designed to improve energy supply in remote areas of Namibia. The company, as an industry partner in the project, will be responsible for the technical appraisal and long-term monitoring of existing systems during the project. Researchers will use renewable energy-powered mini-grids to implement the project. These decentralised grids will be restricted to smaller areas, operated by local providers and will not be embedded into a unified national grid network.

Mini-grid brings Rwandan business boom

A new 50 kW mini-grid in the village of Rutenderi in eastern Rwanda, is beginning to transform the rural village into a productive centre. The new mini-grid, which was installed by Energy 4 Africa, has made electricity available to the village’s 560 homes and 36 businesses. Rutenderi’s economy is based mainly on agricultural crops such as rice, maize and bananas. The mini-grid has resulted in the establishment of two miller, a popcorn-maker, a bar and a welding business.

Sixteen utility-scale PV projects to be built

Tunisia’s ministry of energy, mines and renewable energies has announced a tender for the construction of six solar PV plants with an installed generating capacity of 10 MW each and ten, 1 MW small solar PV projects. The ministry says the projects must be constructed under the build, own, operate principle and has set the deadline for proposals at 26 November this year. Successful bidders will sell the electricity they generate to the country’s state-own power utility under longer-term power-purchase agreements.

Energy investments growing

WSP, a global engineering consulting firm, says that investments in Africa’s power sector is growing. The consultant reports that three major trends are taking place in Africa’s energy industry: carbon emission reduction through the development of clean coal technologies; an increase in the number and size of renewable energy-based projects and the potential of gas-to-power installations. Gas-to-power is becoming popular because it produces lower carbon emissions than coal-fired power generation. These technologies are of interest to companies which are looking for new markets.

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