Power developments in Africa, March 2018

New interconnector planned

The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) plans to develop a 330 kV interconnector between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The transmission line will connect Kolwezi in DRC to the district of Solwezi in Zambia, through the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) network at Lumwana or Kalumbila substation and the future Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL) network at Kolwezi NRO substation. Engineers from WSP will undertake a three-stage feasibility study to develop options and recommend a preferred solution for the interconnector.
All three phases will be completed in 2019.

Two hydropower plants in Morocco

Voltalia has obtained permits for two hydropower plants of 9,8 and 7,2 MW in Morocco. Delivered by the Moroccan Ministry for Energy, the permits are for the hydropower plants to be built in the Middle Atlas region. These permits follow positive technical approvals delivered by the National Bureau for Electricity and Drinking Water regarding the connection of the plants to the national power grid. The electricity produced will be sold under long-term private PPAs, which are currently under negotiation with corporate clients.

Microgrid for East African villages

East African villages will receive microgrid electricity through a project launched by EnSync Energy Systems. The planned microgrid consists of a 180 kW PV system, a 112 kW energy storage system, power electronics to integrate and optimise energy sources to meet demand and energy management software. The non-PV components of the system are all housed in an EnSync Energy DER SuperModule, a fully integrated and self-contained DER system. The SuperModule enables rapid commissioning of an advanced microgrid, significantly reducing project construction schedule and cost.

Sub-station transformer upgrades

The Niger Delta Power company is developing two 150 MVA, 330/132 kV and two 60 MVA, 132/33 kV injection sub-station power transformer projects in Lafia, Nigeria. The current source of power at the Lafia environs is 33 kV from Akwanga which is 93 km away. The substation is a 330 kV power station and would serve to add up as a back-feed supply of power in addition to the power sources from Gerogu and Shiroro plants. The two 7,5 MVA (330/132) power transformers at the station would inject 13 MW of electricity to the existing supply to Lafia and environs. It will supply 15 units of 500 kV distribution transformers, supplying power to about 1000 households.

Zagtouli solar plant commissioned

Burkina Faso has commissioned the solar photovoltaic Zagtouli Solar Power Station in Zagtouli. The plant features almost 130 000 solar panels, covering 60 ha, and will save over 25 000 t of CO2 every year. The project is funded by a €25-million grant from the European Union, accompanied by a €22,5-million loan from the French Agency for Development (AFD). The solar plant is connected to both national and regional power networks, supported by additional funding from the EU, AFD and European Investment Bank to connect it with Ghana.

Ghana airports to go solar

Ghana is to solarise three of its airports with the assistance of Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) in India. CIAL will provide the technical assistance to help Ghana set up 1,5 MW of solar power projects at the airports. The three airports are Kotoka International Airport at Accra, Kumasi International Airport, and the Navrongo Domestic Airport. CIAL became the world’s first airport to run completely from solar power. The initial 12 MW project grew to 15,5 MW and the airport plans to expand capacity to 40 MW.

Madagascar signs power agreement

Siemens has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Madagascar to fast track power generation and increase capacity by an additional 300 MW by 2019. Opportunities exist to increase the installed capacity through hydropower and explore oil reserves to meet the targets set by government. The primary goal of this agreement is to increase national power generating capacity and to connect the local population to the power grid. One of the short-term initiatives is the installation of a Siemens 44 MW aero-derivative gas turbine for mobile power generation in Antananarivo.

Tender issued for Malawi solar project

ProjectCo, under JCM Matswani Solar and InfraCo Africa, has issued a tender for a 40 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Salima, Malawi. The solar PV plant is to be developed on a 80 ha site 4 km from the Salima (Nanjoka) substation. The plant will be connected to the substation by a 132 kV transmission line. The Electric Supply Company of Malawi will be the sole purchaser of the solar farms available capacity and power on a “take or pay” basis.

165 MW solar power for Egypt

Astronergy and CHINT Solar will provide EPC services to a 165 MW solar project in Egypt. Astronergy will undertake the technology, design, engineering, procurement and construction work for the whole project. The 165 MW project consists of three minor projects which are located 40 km north of Aswan. All the electricity generated by the projects will be acquired by EETC, the national utility company of Egypt.

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