Power developments in Africa, June 2017


Geothermal energy for Tanzania

Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has been appointed by the government of Tanzania to formulate a strategy for the development of geothermal energy resources. The firm will work with the government, institutions, and stakeholders in Tanzania over six months to reach a recommended legal, institutional and regulatory framework to develop geothermal resources. The appointment was made through the Tanzania Geothermal Development Company (TGDC) – a subsidiary of the state-owned electricity supplier, Tanesco.

Mobile power transformer

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has installed and energised a 40 MVA 132/33 kV mobile power transformer at the Damboa transmission substation in Bornu State. The substation, previously a 60 MVA 132/33 kV capacity transmission station with fully equipped control room, was destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents on 4 July 2014. Notwithstanding the volatile nature of the area however, TCN installed a 40 MVA 132/33 kV mobile power transformer, in an attempt to bridge the shortfall in bulk electricity transmission to distribution load centres that supply the electricity to Damboa and surrounds.

400 MW greenfield project

The government of Ghana recently begun work on its $1-billion 400 MW Bridge Power project, in Tema. It is said to be one of the world’s largest liquefied petroleum gas-fired power plants and will provide electricity for 17% of the country’s capacity. The plant can be fuelled by LPG, natural gas or diesel. The project has been specifically designed to switch to Ghana’s own natural gas, once available. This should help advance its strategy to leverage natural gas as a long-term source of fuel, central to the operation of the power sector.

Uganda invests in renewables

Uganda has received a project preparation grant of US$2,3-million to kick-start future investments in decentralised power systems in rural and urban areas in Uganda. The grant will cover the development of an off-grid master plan for the electrification of a number of islands across Lake Victoria. It will develop the required regulatory and legal frameworks to pilot solar net-metering systems before the technology can be scaled-up and rolled-out. The grant will also support the installation of solar PV rooftop systems on government-owned buildings around Kampala, Jinja, Mbale and Entebbe.

50 MW PV for Egypt

Alfanar Energy signed a power purchase agreement with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company for a 50 MW solar PV plant under the feed–in tariffs programme. The plant will be located at the 1,8 GW Benban solar complexes in Aswan, in Egypt. It is expected to be among the first few to reach financial closure. The company has secured non-recourse finance for the project in the order of $55-million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector.

Namibia’s largest PV plant

NamPower is developing a solar PV plant in the Hardap region, 230 km south of Windhoek. The plant will have 140 000 crystalline silicon panels mounted on solar trackers that will move from east to west on a horizontal axis. It will occupy 100 Ha, with an annual production of 116 GWh. The plant will be the biggest in Namibia with a capacity of 45,5 MWp. The project has started the financial closure and commissioning is scheduled for early 2018. Alten Energías will develop, and operate the plant, with an investment forecast at US$45-million.

Coal-fired plant for Kenya

The Lamu power generating coal plant in Kenya is on its way to realisation following the signing of a Sh206-billion agreement between China Power Global and Amu power. The power plant will provide 1050 MW into the grid. The coal plant is set to be developed on 350 Ha of land and will feature a 210 m tall smoke stack, which would become east Africa’s tallest structure. Construction of the 400 kV transmission line from Lamu to Kitui to Nairobi has already begun.

Expanding electricity distribution networks

The African Development Bank approved a loan of US$14,57-million to rehabilitate and expand the distribution networks in Juba, South Sudan. The project will strengthen the distribution networks in Juba to provide reliable electricity from generation facilities and satisfy the suppressed load and demand growth in the city. The project consists of the construction of 145 km of 33 kV lines; 370 km of 415/230 V lines; the purchase and installation of 195 transformer stations, as well as 20 000 prepaid meters.

Off-grid rooftop solar project in Zimbabwe

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa has approved a US$965 000 grant to Oxygen Energy to support the preparation for the development of a 20 MW off-grid solar PV rooftop project on buildings owned and managed by Old Mutual Property Group Zimbabwe. The project will substitute large quantities of diesel oil used as backup fuel. This project is also contributing to the New Deal on Energy for Africa by promoting the target of “off-grid” electricity access reaching 75-million connections by end of 2025.

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