Power developments in Africa, October 2019

PV project grows Egypt’s renewable energy portfolio

A new 50 MW solar power plant is to be built in Egypt. The plant, which will be built in Zafarana, will be funded by the German Development Bank and is expected start delivering power before the end of 2020. The Zafarana plant is the second project executed by the authority as part of its plan to expand the technology mix. Egypt has 1,3 GW of wind power, 1,2 GW of solar power and 2,8 GW of hydro power, with much more in the pipeline.

Supporting sustainable energy in Nigeria

The sustainable energy fund for Africa (SEFA), managed by the African Development Bank, has approved a US$500 000 grant to support the development and launch of the Nigeria Energy Access Fund (NEAF), a new private equity fund developed by All On, a Nigerian impact investment firm financed by Shell. NEAF will make strategic investments in sustainable energy in Nigeria, particularly in the country’s burgeoning off-grid and mini-grid sectors. The SEFA grant will enable NEAF to provide eligible projects and businesses with equity solutions which are currently unavailable in the market.

Universities benefit from hybrid solar power

A 7 MW solar hybrid power plant has been commissioned at Nigeria’s Bayero University. This project is the second to be commissioned as part of Phase 1 of the country’s Energising Education Programme (EEP). The programme will delivery clean and sustainable power to nine federal universities and one university teaching hospital over the next four years, using solar hybrid and gas-fired captive power plants. The EEP focuses on off-grid, dedicated, independent power plants and the rehabilitation of existing distribution infrastructure to power 37 universities.

Foreign companies to increase exploration in Gabon

With an aim to increase its crude oil production by 50% by 2021, Gabon is proactively revitalising its oil and gas sector. In 2018, the country launched its twelfth licensing round, offering up to twelve shallow-water blocks and 23 ultra-deepwater blocks in the country’s offshore fields. The country has enacted a revised hydrocarbon code, setting out its legal and fiscal frameworks for oil and gas projects, providing better incentives for investors. This has resulted in foreign companies announcing their plans to seek exploration licenses in Gabon.

South Sudan to double its oil production

In its bid to ramp up production and drive investment in its energy sector, South Sudan is set to launch its 2020 oil and gas licensing round soon. The country seeks to double its oil production by 2020, returning it to pre-war levels of around 350 000 barrels per day. To make this possible, the country is making significant progress in preparing wells which were damaged during the civil war. In March 2019, South Africa signed an exploration and production sharing agreement.

Becoming a major player in primary energy

Senegal is set to launch its next oil and gas licensing round soon. The country is already well established as a major source of hydrocarbons having experienced eight oil and gas discoveries since 2014. Two of these, Woodside’s FAN oil discovery and BP’s Marsouin, Teranga and Yaaker fields could contain as much as 50 tcf of gas combined. The country is said to be on track to become a key player in the global oil and gas sector, which is likely to attract a great of interest by the investment community.

Pre-paid solar power on the rise

More Kenyans are about to benefit from the advantages of having access to electricity in their homes. A new off-grid solar PV system has been opened in the country’s Kisuma County which will bring affordable, clean energy to the many thousands of households across the county who have no access to mains electricity. Residents will be able to subscribe to a pay-as-you-go solar home technology which will provide them with electrical supply for powerful LED lighting, satellite TV and other services for the first time.

Tender for off-grid solar PV and battery hybrid projects

Mali has issued a tender for two solar PV, with battery storage, off-grid systems which are to provide electric power to 24 villages. The plants are to provide 1,3 MW each and offer a storage capacity of 1,5 MWh. The country aims to increase the share of renewable energy in the national electricity mix by 25% by 2033, alongside a 61% rural electrification target. The project is to be funded from a loan from the Islamic Development Bank and a large financial contribution from Morocco.

Invitation to enter Equatorial Guinea’s hydrocarbons sector

This year, Equatorial Guinea announced that it was offering up to 24 offshore and two onshore blocks as part of the country’s 2019 oil and gas licensing round. The country has invited exploration and production companies to enter its hydrocarbons sector. The country has subsequently signed a number of definitive agreements for the monetisation of gas from its Alen unit in the Gas Megahub project and the inauguration of an LNG storage and regasification plant as part of the LNG2Africa project.

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