Power developments in Africa, January 2019

Refinery’s power plant maintenance plan signed

GE has signed a multi-year service agreement to support the power requirements of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s Port Harcourt Refining company. The twelve-year agreement includes the provision of parts, spares, repairs and services over two major inspection cycles for three units of the company’s aeroderivative gas turbines which were installed at the site in 2015. Oil prices are a determinant of the country’s growth, so this service agreement is crucial to help to improve the power supply for the constant production at this refinery, the company says.

Utility-scale solar PV project offers affordable electricity

The African Development Bank has approved a loan of US$18,17-million for the construction of the 50 MW Kopere Solar Power Project in Kenya. The project, which falls under Kenya’s renewable energy feed-it-tariff policy, encompasses the design, construction and operation of the solar PV plant, a 33/132 kV substation, and a 1,8 km transmission line. The project is expected to generate about 106 GWh per year and supply electricity to 600 000 people via the national grid network, reducing CO2 emissions in the process.

Madagascar power project moving forward

Bushveld Minerals’ coal and energy subsidiary, Lemur holdings, is developing a thermal coal and independent power project, called “Imaloto power”, in Madagascar. Imaloto has concluded a connection and transmission agreement with the state utility, Jirama, which will allow it to connect its planned new transmission line to Jirama’s network. Lemur is now in the final stages of reviewing the bankable feasibility study for the project in co-operation with its technical development partner, Sinohydro.

Senegalese solar project wins solar incubator award

The 30 MW Gossas Solar Farm project in Senegal has been selected for the Phanes Group’s second solar incubator. The group offers support to selected solar PV projects in sub-Saharan Africa to help entrepreneurs overcome obstacles which could prevent their PV projects from reaching fruition. Phanes will maintain a long-term stake in the solar energy project and assist to bring it to commercial close. The solar incubator will provide the solar farm’s management with the necessary commercial and technical know-how to deliver a bankable project, the group says.

Joint venture for Botswana coal

Shumba Energy and Lurco signed a 50/50 joint venture agreement recently to supply coal from Shumba’s Sechaba thermal coal project, which is situated in Botswana’s Morupule coalfield, into South Africa or to export it. Lurco is to spend $10-million on an opencast construction for the project. Coal mined from the open pit is to be processed through a wash plant owned by Shumba, the company says. Lurco says it supplies thermal coal to Eskom and to a number of international clients via various Southern African ports.

Power purchase agreement signed

French energy giant ENGIE has signed power purchase agreements for two solar power plants in Senegal. The projects, with a combined capacity of 60 MW, were developed as part of the International Finance Corporation’s Scaling Solar Programme. ENGIE will be responsible for the construction and operation of the plants in Kahone and Kaël. The competitive tender process, which closed in April 2018, resulted in prices of US$0,04/kWh being quoted. As a result, solar energy will become Senegal’s cheapest energy source.

Rwanda decry biomass for energy

The Rwandan government is endeavouring to reduce the use of biomass as a source of energy for cooking and heating by 50% by 2024. The mnister of energy says that the population must be encouraged to use cleaner alternatives. To this end, the government is developing strategies to make biogas and LPG available in all public facilities, including hospitals, prisons, schools, hotels, and restaurants. The minister also wants LPG to be used more extensively in both the urban and peri-urban areas of Rwanda.

Solar PV to reduce emissions at airport

A ground-mounted, 500 MW solar system is to be built at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya to supply power to its terminal buildings. The system is expected to generate 820 MWh of electricity and offset about 1300 t of CO2 each year. The system will power an airport gate electrification system, an electric converter and a battery-based uninterruptible power supply. The equipment will enable aircraft docked at existing passenger boarding bridges not to use their jet fuel-power auxiliary power units while loading, reducing carbon emissions.

Joint finance plan for Nigerian electrification project

The African Development Bank has approved a US$150-million loan to the Federal Government of Nigeria to finance the country’s electrification programme. The finance will support rural electrification projects in Nigeria by facilitating private sector development and the rollout of off-grid solutions. A further $50-million will be provided by the Africa Growing Together fund. Nigeria, which has a critical energy-access deficit, is working towards universal access by 2030. The country’s plan is to channel private sector investments into commercially viable mini- and off-grid electricity systems.

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