Power developments in Africa, Nov-Dec 2017

Transmission line development

Botswana Power Corporation has connected the Segoditshane-Thamaga 220 kV line and Mogoditshane-Molepolole 132 kV line into Rakola 220/132 kV substation located 7 km from Gabane village. Milestones include the commissioning of the Rakola substation with two 125 MVA transformers and the two parallel 220 kV overhead lines from Isang 400/220 kV substation to Rakola substation. Another recent major asset addition to the transmission network were two 40 MVA 220/66 kV transformers at Isang substation to provide power to Masama/Makhujwane/Serorome water utility’s well fields.

Cameroon hydropower project

The Kpep hydropower project in Cameroon is undergoing feasibility studies for 485 MW installed capacity. The project site is to be developed as part of a cascade of five sites on the Katsina Ala river. The full feasibility studies will include topographical surveys, geotechnical investigation works, preliminary engineering design and a full internationally-compliant environmental and
social impact assessment. It is estimated that the feasibility study will take two years with a further four years of construction before commissioning.

Interconnect project for Mozambique and Malawi

Mozambique will export 200 MW to Malawi from 2021 under an interconnection project between the two countries. US$95-million will be invested in the construction of the line connecting the two countries and US$25-million will be used for rural electrification along the line. There are 218 km of line linking Matambo in Tete and Phombeya in Malawi, with the Mozambican part being the longest at 140 km. The line will take three years to construct.

Electrification projects funded

Burkina Faso and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have partnered to develop the North Dorsal electrification project to connect Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Benin. It will also provide budget support to the renewable energy sector, with 50 MW solar plants funded jointly with the French development agency. The AfDB will provide support for the electrification of schools and
health facilities and the installation of solar street lamps in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso.

More solar for Egypt 

Alfanar Energy is building a 50 MW power plant in the Benban solar complex in Aswan province, Egypt. The project is funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). In Benban, the Egyptian government is planning to install a total of 1,8 GW of photovoltaic power. The 50 MW plant is the third project under a $500-million programme for renewable energy projects. The EBRD confirmed 16 solar power plants with a total capacity of 750 MW.

Sierra Leone secures electricity deal

The government of Sierra Leone has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Joule Africa to provide all year round power to the country. Joule Africa and its local partner Energy Services Company, through joint ownership of the newly formed Seli Hydropower, will build an extension to the existing 50 MW hydro station, Bumbuna I, situated in the north east of the country, adding a further 143 MW of power capacity. Construction on the extension, Bumbuna II, is anticipated to start by mid-2018 with operations forecast to start four years later. Seli Hydropower will be responsible for building, owning and operating Bumbuna II.

Pay-as-you-go rural electricity

M-Kopa Solar, a pay-as-you-go energy provider to off-grid homes, has secured US$80-million of committed financing to be used over the next three years to provide finance for pay-as-you-go solar installations in one million houses in East Africa. The company provides low-income customers access to electricity on daily mobile money payment plans which are cheaper than the typical cost of kerosene. Customers who complete their payment plans are upgrading with M-Kopa for more lights, TVs, energy-efficient cooking stoves, smart phones and water tanks. The company has sold more than 160 000 upgrade units, including 90 000 solar televisions. The solution offers last mile clean energy solutions to households with no access to the grid.

Vunduzi connects to power grid

The electric grid link from Vunduzi village, located in the Gorongosa district of Sofala, in Mozambique, to the national energy network included the extension of 45 km of to 33 kV network, 6 km of low voltage network, counted from the headquarters district from Gorongosa to Vunduzi, divided into three sections. Along the line, eight transformation stations were set up. The project was executed in three months and was financed by Electricidade de Moçambique.

Clean energy solutions

GreenWish Partners has partnered with Orange to implement clean energy solutions for Orange’s network of telecommunication towers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Solar, battery and diesel fuel will boost energy efficiency. GreenWish will equip 10 000 towers with hybrid solar solutions in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. The continent has 240 000 telecom towers to date depending on diesel generators, a figure that is expected to reach 325 000 by 2020.

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