Power developments in Africa, March 2019

Egypt to participate with EAPP countries

Egypt is to work with East Africa Power Pool (EAPP) countries in an attempt to advance common goals in the energy sector. These goals include the greater use of renewable energy in rural electrification, improving energy efficiency and the planning of electricity projects ion the region. Speaking at a recent ministerial meeting of the EAPP in Entebbe, the country’s minister of energy, Mohamed Shaker, said that Egypt’s achievements in the last four years have resulted in the addition of 25 000 MW to the country’s national power grid.

Off-grid electricity grows in sub-Saharan Africa

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) says that projects for the provision of off-grid electricity will be extended to include Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mozambique. These projects are expected to provide up to 15-million people with electricity. Sida says that by leapfrogging the national electricity grid and promoting modern off-grid solutions, people’s lives will be improved, jobs created, and poverty could become a thing of the past.

Togo approves solar subsidy

The government of Togo has approved an innovative solar subsidy for customers using the BBOXX solar home systems, to spend on solar energy. The subsidy, known as the CIZO Cheque, provides households which use the company’s solar home systems, a monthly subsidy of about US$3,5 over a three-year period. The system, which works on a prepaid arrangement, has been operating in Togo since December 2017, after being awarded a tender to install 300 000 solar home systems by 2022 across the country, largely in rural areas.

Tender for the construction of 90 kV transmission line

The World Bank has extended a loan to the government of Burkina Faso to be used to finance the country’s Electricity Sector Support Project (PASEL). Part of the money will be used to fund the construction of the 90 kV Wona-Dédougou transmission line. The country’s national electricity company (SONABEL) has extended an invitation for eligible candidates to submit bids to carry out the work. Bidding companies must have completed at least two contracts, worth at least $2-million, including the construction of a powerline of 63 kV at least.

Hydropower life extension project

Extensive rehabilitation and modernisation measures will be undertaken at the Nangbeto hydropower plant to extend its life by another 30 years. The project is a joint venture between Benin and Togo and is worth US$25-million. The project comprises the refurbishment of the generators, the cavitation inspection of the turbines, the replacement of the blades, the rehabilitation of the cooling system, an overhaul of the automation and communication infrastructure, and the modernisation of the supply buildings and switchyard. A water treatment plant will supply the neighbouring communities with fresh water.

Major interconnection project starts

President of the Gambia, Adama Barrow, laid the foundation stone of a substation in Jarra Soma, in the Gambia River Basin’s lower river region. The substation will be a key component of the country’s energy interconnection project with Guinea Conakry, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. Known as the OMVG Energy Project, the interconnection, which includes a transmission line of 1677 km and 15 substations, will reinforce regional integration and cooperation by using and exploiting the shared hydroelectric resources in the local river basins and increase electricity access from 40% to 60%.

Tender for substation upgrades

Nigeria is expected to call for tenders for the rehabilitation of its 330/132 kV and 132/33 kV transmission substations. Consulting services are likely to include project management and supervision; technical control of designs; receipt of the equipment in factory and supplies to site; pre-commissioning tests and commissioning upon completion of work, as well as on the job training and transfer of knowledge.

Improving rural electrification

The African Development Bank is undertaking a feasibility study for improved electricity business models in Nigeria and Ethiopia. The study will consider the regulatory, legal, technical, and socio-economic factors which impact the creation of electric cooperatives in the two nations as tax-exempt businesses set up and owned by the consumers who benefit from the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.

Power company posts healthy profit

Kenya Power reported a net profit of US$29-million for the half year to 31 December 2018. Sales of electricity grew by 9% from 4882 GWh to 5324 GWh and revenue from these sales increased by 21,3%. Transmission and distribution costs increased by 37,3%; and finance costs increased by 23,5% the company’s managing director and CEO Jared Othieno says. Apparently, additional initiatives are being undertaken to improve the supply of reliable power through the strengthening of the distribution network and an efficient service delivery to ensure customer satisfaction.

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